At first glance, Mrs. Magician hits like an anachronistic surfing android, like the experiment of a robot Brian Wilson digging up clams and cracking hooks like crests crashing into the shore, a little rusty and rough around the edges, but brilliant at the core. And after repeated listens, it turns out it's pretty accurate for a first impression. Where is this beach, and how can we live there forever? The songs are undeniably kinetic, frothing with the undercurrent of simple, yet unassuming lyrics with bits of weird tossed in ("crooked as a question mark" mixed with the simple chant "I've got something on my mind," for an early example). It's mindless in the way that zombies are mindless-- it's interested in your brain, persistent, and more often than not, it winds up winning by sheer numbers (every song has something to love). With a barrage of curious lyricism, catchy choruses, and zany riffs, the band has just the right amount of dirty to keep it sounding professional. The band hits the perfect blend of out-of-time progressivism and nostalgic imperfection to appeal to our generation's obsession with the past through the lens of the future.
Each track finds something interesting to say in stark contrast to the the bubbly riffs, or vice versa-- a typical chant over the strangest chord collection. "There's no God" with a gleeful twist over a simple chord progression? Or how about the weird and wacky pathway of the opening chords in "Dead 80s"? "The Spells" has one of the best hooks on the album, really nailing the sing-along chorus and making good use of strange (and cool sounding) phrases like the titular affliction in reference to love ailments, but nothing works quite as brilliantly as "Prescription Vision," with its instantly unique and singable chorus perfect for screaming out car windows (which is exactly how I first really listened to it). It's so fun, it landed the relatively young band an opening slot on tour with buzz-huggers Cults. Funnily enough the bigger band's throwback act doesn't quite match up to the balancing act of Mrs. Magician. Turns out our interview
We're calling it: Strange Heaven
is the most underrated album of the first half of 2012. Now enjoy.