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Cypriot alt-rock group The smallest Creature is back with their new album Magic Beans, a long-awaited follow up to their 2016 debut Millions. In the interim they have expanded from a trio to a quartet, and Magic Beans, which was recorded in February of last year, features a tighter and at times a more straight-forward rock sound than previous offerings. Their style is influenced by bits of everything from Radiohead to Pearl Jam and U2 to the Arctic Monkeys, but this group, which was once a solo project for singer Stefanos Marnerides, has also a newfound confidence as if the band has truly matured into their own potential as a unified band.
There are occasional moments when the band descends joyfully into pure, murky grunge like the sludge of “Crawl” and the clear tip of the hat to Nirvana on “Glow,” but the majority of the songs here are slower power ballads as if Bono were the new frontman for Radiohead. The best examples here are the soaring, mantra-like “Break Me” and the dusty, melancholy dirge “October Song” with its fatalistic message caught somewhere between revolution and resignation. Magic Beans might very well be a perfect title for the album, because it is full of songs that start off unassuming before growing to unimaginable heights; making a record full of delightful surprises.
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