RESISTANCE IS FUTILE - Magneto (Popboomerang)
Okay folks, I'll 'fess up: I love great powerpop. I'm afraid I'm one of those geeks who still thinks that this stuff is what should be playing on the fantasy AM radio station we all have (or should have ) running constantly in our heads. My old summer mix tapes (remember them? tapes, that is ): very heavy on the power pop. You get the idea. So I'm always eager to be blown away by a song with that perfect chorus, vocal harmony or guitar line and was therefore keen to take this album for a spin-especially after reading the accompanying press release which name checks the likes of Cheap Trick, Big Star and Jellyfish.
Listening to Magneto is definitely a case of playing spot the influence but then what isn't these days? There's certainly nothing wrong with wearing your inspiration on your sleeve as I assume anyone who's a fan of this site would agree. Unfortunately, the problem with this kind of music is that if you don't come up with those great, goosebump-inducing hooks that your favourite bands were so adept at creating then it's just kinda bland....not that that's necessarily the case here.The album's opener, Underground, is a sturdy mid-tempo rocker with some nice guitar work that definitely grows on you after a few listens. I'm hearing some Dom Mariani, particularly his DM3 period, though it doesn't quite reach those epic heights.
The second number, "Shooting Star", owes a very heavy debt to Teenage Fan Club, right down to the backing vocals which eerily replicate Raymond McGinley's distinctive and thick Scottish burr. Good tune, though. Next up is "Let It Go", which sounds to my ears very much like the Cavedogs, a fairly obscure but fine U.S. band from the early 90's. So it goes through the rest of the album: "Living On the Moon" and "Prima Donna" are full-on Oasis, both vocally and melodically. Again, I've got no problem with that, especially since these two songs are better than most of what the cranky Mancs have offered up on their last couple efforts. Here would probably be a good place to mention, as well, that the playing, the production and especially the vocals are all top-notch without being too slick or generic.
So it seems to me that all this record (sorry, CD) really lacks is that one huge, amazing pop song, the proverbial "why the fuck isn't that a hit ? " that every band that trades in pop music would give their eye teeth for. There's no shame in that: writing a classic is no easy task ( God knows I've tried ) and Magneto's songs are far from bland. If I still made those summer mix tapes a couple of these would easily make the cut. - Andrew Molloy
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