Magnapop – The Circle Is Round

Magnapop records have always been a sizzling sunspot in the pop rock galaxy and with the band’s first release in nearly a decade nothing has changed. The Circle Is Round is an unapologetically charming proposition but one with a punk growl in its lining and instinctive volatility giving it even greater drama in sound and imagination.

Released via the ever magnetic label, HHBTM Records, The Circle Is Round is the 1989 formed Atlanta-based quartet’s sixth album and the successor to 2009’s Chase Park. Majorly fertile in sound, releases, and acclaim in the mid-90s, Magnapop have embraced a lower profile over the past years since ‘reuniting’ in order to play a benefit gig for local record store, Criminal Records. That laid the seeds for the desire to write and record new material now resulting in the captivation that is The Circle Is Round.

It is fair to say that attention and appetite was immediately gripped by the album’s opening breath, the hook carrying lure of Dog on the Door instant persuasion to ears and body. Vocalist Linda Hopper’s tones prove just as swiftly enticing as crisp rhythms match the tempting of the guitar’s punk jangle; Ruthie Morris’ bait effortlessly verging on the addictive. Keys and the latter’s backing tones only added to the eager temptation with the darker grumble of Shannon Mulvaney’s bass and the senses clipping swings of drummer David McNair a matching incitement.

With a slightly calmer but no less infectious bounce Change Your Hair follows and equally had little trouble getting under the skin especially with its Buzzcocks-esque hook and warm melodic smile while A Simple Plan straight after, explores an even mellower gait whilst accentuating its inherent catchiness across a fuzz borne landscape graced with the magnetism of keys. There is a great nagging quality to it with the vocals of Hopper and Morris, as in its predecessor, contagious caresses on ears.

Super Size Me bowls in throwing its creative weight around next, its punk nurtured vitality and pop woven tenacity another moment breeding addiction before Need to Change has hips swaying and pleasure boiling with a contagion something akin to B-52’s meets Weekend meets Throwing Muses. Both tracks simply had the spirit and passions bouncing and alongside the album’s opener shared favourite track moment between them.

The raunchier rock ‘n’ roll of What Can I Do gave further food for thought on that choice, echoing the strength and undiluted temptation on offer across The Circle Is Round. As with most tracks, the coarser growl and punk irritability of rhythms and chords align perfectly, almost seductively with the melodic adventure of voice and Bruce King’s keys not forgetting the weave of melodic temptation also escaping Morris’ guitar enterprise.

Through the enchanting balladry of Rain Rain, a song with another animated gait as manipulative as the song’s emotive croon is bewitching, and the similarly buoyant and reassuring Disabled, band and album piled on more temptation to be captivated by with Rip the Wreck capping indeed eclipsing their vibrant success with its own frisky escapade cast with feral riffs and aggressively agile rhythms. The track is a riveting slice of uproarious rock ‘n’ roll but again an incitement skilfully and imaginatively tempered by the melodic and harmonic instincts within Magnapop.

The Circle Is Round is completed by a pair of previously unheard demos recorded in 1992; Leo and Pretty Awful two glorious untamed punk fuelled treats of Magnapop in its heyday. As the new album proves though, that zenith is still lingering in the creativity of the band, its songs and character deviously addictive and deliciously individual.

 The Circle Is Round is out now digitally, on CD, and on vinyl via HHBTM Records with a white vinyl deluxe addition also available@ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/magnapop-the-circle-is-round/

http://www.magnapop.com   https://www.facebook.com/magnapopband/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Register – Captive

It is two years since Atlanta outfit Dead Register not only thrilled but truly captivated us with debut album Fiber. It was a collection of tracks bred in the rich essences of doom, gothic, and post rock but equally embraced many more flavours to create something as unique as you could imagine or wish. Twenty four or so months on we still cannot truly define their sound or want to as that would be to sterilise its originality and fertility, both as rampant and captivating in the band’s new offering, Captive.

Every word in praise of Fiber by us and so many others can be echoed with zeal in regard to the Captive EP, but not only repeated but escalated as its five tracks venture to mouth-watering new heights in the imaginative craft and inventive prowess of Dead Register. The new EP sees percussionist/drummer Danny Ryann (ex-Gigan) alongside vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta and his wife, Avril Che on bass synth, keys, and backing vocals; Dan Dixon (Whores, The Life and Times, PLS PLS, Biters) recording, mixing, and mastering their now proposition.

Captive opens up with its title track, a dark mist springing the lumbering gait of the song but a funereal step soon wrapped in romancing melodies as a shadow bred atmosphere descends. Magnetic rhythms are swiftly courted by the ever potent and alluring tones of Chvasta, both in turn hugged by the heavy emotive doom gaze breath of the track. Haunting and mesmeric, the song continues to seduce and impose, drama soaking very brooding note and harmonic utterance trespassing and seducing the senses.

It is a highly tantalising and increasingly captivating beginning to the release and one as powerfully continued by next up Ender. A song exploring love and loss and “a reminder to savor even the most mundane idiosyncrasies that “make” our loved ones who they are”, a premise easy to relate to, it rousingly smoulders in ears and thoughts but a thick simmer with volatility which only enriches its emotional incitement and a sound with Type O Negative/Nine Inch Nails hues. There is also a breath to the track and its successors which reminds of eighties band, The Sound; an instinctively downbeat almost depressive yet rousing dark essence which is especially apparent in the fiercely infectious Heresy. From its predacious nagging bassline to the sonic tendrils and Chvasta’s transfixing vocals, the track is pure temptation as virulently catchy as it is melancholically consuming.

A riveting cover of the Dead and Gone track Blood from a Ghost follows, Dead Register infusing it with a voraciously dark elegance without defusing its raw heart and anguish. Few covers in our experience improve on the original but the threesome certainly flirts with that success before Monochrome completes the aural mastery of Captive with its own tenebrific majesty soaked in emotive dissonance. A breath-taking and arousing yet corrosive romance, the track is a maelstrom of destruction and tenderness and quite irresistible.

It is a spellbinding prowess which devours the whole of Captives and feeds the infatuation we have already found for the band. If in our words Fiber was “dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful”, Captive is pure aural alchemy and one of the year’s essential encounters.

Captive is released November 2nd; available @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

 Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright