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The Magic Shoppe - Wonderland (Little Cloud Records)

Album cover for The Magic Shoppe's Wonderland album.
4 December 2016

I am more than a day late and many dollars short on this review, so my apologies to guitarist Josiah Webb, who kindly floated me a digital copy of this new release when it first came out. Based in Boston, MA, this supercharged psych quintet records for the Portland, OR imprint Little Cloud Records. With a triple threat in the form of three guitarists (Josiah, Kate, and Tayler), these folks kick out the jams on this 8 song short album.

This is a departure from their last release, Interstellar Car Crash, in that they’ve mostly abandoned the flowery side of psych for the hard-edged, crashing surf psych that inhabits Wonderland. Witness “Head On the Floor” to see what I mean, a massive sounding tune with a shit load of reverb that never lets up. “Stars Explode” gives a nod to Raw Power era Iggy Pop (in the guitars at least), and is fodder for the mosh pit. Seriously, had I the energy of my youth, I would be flinging myself about while jamming to this. “Kill” ushers in a bit of Sonic Youth along with seriously trippy vocals, and I say, bring on the fx! “Hearing Voices” is only slightly less lethal and drugged out than its predecessor. By now, hookah pipes and bongs are in rotation as listeners are lost in the psyched out dream of this tune.

Moving to the second side, “Blowup” meshes BJM guitar with late 60s sonics, and backs away slightly from the noise fest on Side A. Seriously catchy and fun! “Sister Burden” has voices in the backdrop, and one cannot make out the words. It’s another fantastic example of the hard psych these guys are peddling these days. I love the flying saucer sounds in the middle, and the way it amps back up to a solid, thumping vibe. “Find Yourself Some Love” has a great hook at its heart, and it will reel you in quickly. Finally, the tantalizing title track ends things with shards of melody and dripping with reverb, another great tune from this Boston group. Highly recommended for fans of Brian Jonestown Massacre and all good psychedelic music.

Catch up with the band on Facebook and over on their Bandcamp page.

 

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