Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ten for '10: 4 or 5 Magicians

Inevitably, as another musical year dawns, we begin to move from the favourites that kept us company the previous 364 days and speculate at which bands might fuel our fire during the next 12 months. 

To the beaches of Brighton in England next - though not recommended right now with Arctic conditions assaulting the country - to point our ear drums towards 4 or 5 Magicians

Coming on with a sound owing a few quid to a variety of raw 90's alt rock groups from North America, 4 or 5 Magicians add a quintessentially British streak with the vocals and lyrics of Dan Ormsby. Commenting on horrendous credit card debt and the vagaries of the music business may not be confined to old Blighty, but the dry wit with which they're delivered is characteristic and worthy of writers like Mike Skinner or Alex Turner. Look no further than their most recent album title, Empty Derivative Pop Songs, for the first evidence.

MP3: 4 or 5 Magicians - Forever On The Edge
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Taken from the album Empty Derivative Pop Songs, out now - BUY

The blend of styles at work here leads to an urgent, invigorating listen. The songs have a distinct edge, one that is made only more hazardously jagged by the rough production. Somewhere between a lo-fi and punk aesthetic, the end result often feels like the instruments might collapse in on one another. In the best possible way, of course. And somehow from this cacophony the band manage to rescue extremely catchy songs and huge melodies. When it all comes together, as on Forever On The Edge, it's quite something to behold.

With no dates currently listed for this year, neither side of the Atlantic can yet look forward to these gems being recreated on a local stage. The critics are being kind, however, and 4 or 5 Magicians appear to be making friends in all the right places, so this could well be their year to break out and travel the globe.

Even if it's not, we can be sure they'll obtain some juicy subject matter from the experience for that next acerbic lyric. Pens at the the ready.......

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