Magic Shoppe – Reverberation

August 30, 2010

Magic Shoppe were artists of the week on WZBC’s Flyweight earlier this summer, and ever since then I’ve been looking forward to the arrival of “Reverberation,” their first full-length. I was lucky enough to be able to listen to an advance copy of the lp, due out officially next month, while at the WZBC studios last friday. And I was not disappointed.

Shoegaze, psych, and especially — yes — reverb are plentiful on this album. Now, those are not styles that I would typically associate with this name, but the one that came to my mind while listening to it was Steve Albini’s. Why? Because “Reverberation” is an lp on which every single track reflects the same degree of time, effort, and seriousness that Albini dedicates to all his work, on which every single composition is planned out, practiced, and polished to perfection.

Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that lo-fi chaos — bedroom recordings where one band member’s drunk on the floor and another one’s asleep in the corner — has considerable charm; some of my all-time favorite albums were made that way. But other times, especially in these times where there’s so much junk around, you want to hear a band with a purpose. And such a band would be Magic Shoppe, on “Reverberation.”

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