The founder of International Pop Overthrow festival, David Bash, raves about the debut CD for Shindig Magazine!
From out of the deep recesses of the place where Tony Bennett left his heart comes Magic Christian, a band presumably named for the delightful Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr film and who, very unpresumably, have honed a style that unfailingly calls to mind both The Rolling Stones and The Flamin' Groovies, the latter unsuprising when you consider that all the songs are written by one Cyril Jordan, who also offers his lead guitar chops. In fact, Magic Christian is a supergroup of sorts, as it also features long time Tubes drummer Prairie Prince, Sneetches bass player, liner note writer and archivist extraordinaire Alec Palao, and organizer of the renowned Baypop festival (at which luminaries like The Chocolate Watchband and The Beau Brummels performed) Paul Kopf, whose Jagger-esque lead vocals lend credence to all of the tracks herein. The band, as you can imagine, is as tight and authentic as a the Nehru jacket you used to wear, and the tunes will never fail to make to you shake it on the dance floor of your mind. Songs like "Too Close To Zero" and "Angel" most closely echo The Stones, the former being almost a perfect hybrid of "Let's Spend The Night Together" and "Under My Thumb" and the latter's aching beauty most recalling "Ruby Tuesday". Others like "Here She Comes", "Some Day Soon", and "Ride The Light" could have been snuck onto The Groovies' Shake Some Action album without anyone ever finding out they didn't belong, and "No Time To Cry" and "Things She Said" will have you screaming "Have Mersey!".
As a bonus, Magic Christian includes a full disc of live material from a show the band did this past April 1 (no foolin') at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. The bulk of these songs are those that ultimately would end up on the proper album, along with a nifty cover of The Easybeats' "Made My Bed" and all are performed with style and energy. Magic Christian is one of the better albums of 2004, to be sure. (www.repeatrecords.com)
A review of the first CD from the
excellent TorpedoPop website!
Supposedly intended as a solo project by the band's singer Paul Kopf, to be produced by Cyril Jordan, I guess it was not that easy having such a guy around and not letting him be in charge. Of course, it's just as hard not to compare them to the grooves of The Flamin' Groovies, and after you hear them, it will be even harder to believe that it's not them actually, be it the garagey Stones-ish swagger ("Too Close To Zero”, "She's So Good" ...) or the ones where Cyril shows that he can still "shake some power-pop action" ("Things She Said", "Here She Comes"). Of course in the good old mid-70s-Groov(i)e fashion, there's also a couple of pure Merseybeat tunes ("No Time To Cry", "Some Day Soon", "Ride The Light") and there's also another one that kinda combines it with the mentioned "Stoned" rawk, called "Till I Looked In Her Eyes". The one that slightly digresses from the concept (in a good way though) is the moody popsike number called "Angel", and just for the good measure, the album ends with the beautifully chosen cover of "I Can See For Miles".
By the way, this one is labeled like a "Limited Edition Authorized Bootleg" and comes with the bonus live CD, so all considered, it's more than worth the investment.