With requests for its attention coming from various directions including one from an old friend of The RR in the band’s very own Welshy who previously swung the sticks in one of our all-time fav bands, Top Buzzer, we just had to take a gander at the new album from UK outfit Waco. It is a move which brought immediate rewards and pleasure, both increasing by the listen so much so that we just had to introduce you to Human Magic and its riot of anarchic punk infested rock ‘n’ roll.
From song to song, Waco reveals a sound which rebels against expectations and wanders into an imagination which is as feral as the sounds it produces yet comes with a prowess and mischief as skilfully woven as it is organically bred. Describing the band’s sound is easy for a minute or two but soon deviates from any suggestion offered within the next but maybe imagine a fusion of Rocket from the Crypt, Jaya The Cat, and Japanese Fighting Fish and you get an on-going clue to the character of it and in turn debut album Human Magic.
Providing songs “laced with metaphysics, conspiracy theories and spirituality”, 2014 founded London hailing Waco consists of the inimitable lead vocals of guitarist Jak, the hook laded exploits of fellow guitarist Tom, and the addiction crowding endeavour of bassist James around the ever manipulate and bold rhythms of Welshy. Human Magic also features the just as fertile enterprise of former bassist Chris who sadly passed away late 2018 and was an integral part of attention and plaudit grabbing EPs the band released over the years.
Human Magic opens up with The Jersey Devil and immediately had intrigue hooked as a spicy sax rose up around the bold tones of Jak, a lure instantly erupting in a bold and rousing stomp. There is a vein of seventies pop punk come power pop to the track too which escalates its infectious deeds, Welshy’s beats landing with an eagerness only echoed in that contagion and the enterprise around them.
It is a spirit rousing start quickly backed up by the just as devilish Levenshulme Lover, a slice of indie rock meets pop punk that revels in the raw breath and mischievous nature of both. Rhythms again had the body pumped as vocals engaged with the song’s own holler; a touch of Buster Shuffle like revelry joining a bluesy finale to give greater dexterity to the song before N15 saunters in with a summery glow and instinctive catchiness swiftly emphasized by Tom’s melodic touch. Again a sax shares richly flavoursome flames to emulate the heat of the guitar while the union of vocals across the band and more accentuates the radiance of the song.
The album’s title track is a brief cosmic glide, a golden instrumental sunset before the senses bouncing, spirit rousing holler of Anthony. Firm heady beats lead the second track’s entrance, splashes of guitar igniting the air as the bass tenaciously growls and strolls through song and ears alike. Jak’s vocals match the sounds around them in hooks and almost rapacious tempting, everything aligning to provide a thumping virulent rock ‘n’ roll roar with that previously mentioned Rocket From The Crypt like essence icing on the raucous cake.
Next up Daydream has a touch of Flogging Molly playing Elvis Costello to its balladry, a piano shaping its emotive hug before things increasingly grow rowdy with Jak sharing his inimitable expression and presence in its midst while My Brother, We’ll Rise Again surrounds ears in a dark rock embrace hinting of bands such as The Filthy Tongues or The Ugly Kings in its short sultry and soulful croon. Both only further stretch the varied sound and landscape of the album, an endeavour further pushed by the indie pop rock contagion of The Valleys.
As the psych rock scented Smalltown Goths tempts and in turn rocks ears with its own dose of infection and Six Feet Under straight after serenades the same welcoming guests with its country folk lined dance, it is fair to say that Human Magic slipped deeper under the skin, then burrowing just a layer or two further as By My Side serenaded with its lively pop drama and glorious mix of vocals and definitely more so through the boisterous antics of Catbrain. The latter is superb stealing favourite song honours from the moment Welshy’s deviously addictive beats burst from a concussive entrance to infest feet and musical instincts with guitars spinning a web of matching temptation around Jak’s and the band’s devilish vocals and intent.
Completed by Tomorrow’s Gorgeous Globe and its magnetic poetry, Human Magic more than lives up to its suggestive name and all the reasons from many as to why we should have checked it out. To be honest all leasing words only touched on the magnificence of the album and we can only add our own summons to theirs for you to share real attention its way.
Human Magic is out now via Standby Records.
Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020
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