Under Review

The Strange Magic

Spring Reverb (Northern Electric)

Review By Andy Resto


The Strange Magic
The Strange Magic

Spring Reverb is characterized by the Strange Magic’s combination of disparate influences. It begins with the album cover, which shows the silhouette of a young girl, a palm tree and two soundboards in the background. This contrasts with the back cover, which depicts convoluted metallic pipes in a long tunnel—perhaps a place for a rocket ship. And strangest yet, inside one finds a photo of prohibitionists holding signs that read, “we want beer.”

The album begins with the sci-fi prog number “Dr. Theremin,” in which no theremin could be distinguished. From here things jump from the classic rock solos of “Planet of the Humans” to the back road country jingle “Long and Muddy Road,” which eventually evolves into an experimental track full of incomprehensible female vocals. The Strange Magic appears to make quite an effort to remain open to suggestions from all ten of their members.

The lyrics follow a similar theme, ranging from odes to the aforementioned “Dr. Theremin” to discussions on the fate of humanity to relatively banal descriptions of getting high on “White Rock Beach.” Overall, Spring Reverb gives the feel of a band trying hard to leave a lasting impression upon the listener, but ends up with something aimless and almost silly.

The title itself is misleading, for out of the confusion of sounds, no feeling of spring arises. Reverb? Yes. Amateur lyrics about cheese, science, drugs and Frankenstein? Yes. But springtime? No, that scene was forgotten. Maybe that’s why it appears in the title, just to get one more disconnected image in there. Yet with such a lack of focus, one can’t help but recognize a underdevoloped band that needs to rethink their spells.