Loading their debut with a biting edge, Mrs. Magician becomes more than just another surf-rock band with a West Coast calling card. Strange Heaven still incorporates the sunny, beachside energy expected of San Diego natives, but this quartet arrives with a shocking amount of spunk, distinguishing them as a band who’s willing to show us the dark side of their California roots, too.
This debut exploration into their Strange Heaven doesn’t yield anything too complex, instead giving us an album of simple, short-lived fun. Using the continuous support of fuzzed out guitars and drums to reinforce each of their 13 jolting narrative tracks, listeners will be wishing for a similar seaside adventure of their own.
Mrs. Magician’s garage pop incorporates some of the year’s most enjoyably animated lyrics. They include an assurance to believers that they’re going to die anyways on the slowed-down swing of “There is No God”, and they promise a lover that they’ll run away together as long as they can “still reach the VCR” on the punky “Videodrome”. The most remarkable of their ear candy comes by way of the confessional “Actual Pain”. Warped guitars and the necessary percussion back the quips of frontman Jacob Turnbloom, who despises that “every band’s trying to network or get Dum Dum Girls in the sheets.”
Of course, their ’60s inspired shoreline soundtrack wouldn’t be complete without ballads to the ladies who have loved and wronged them. “Don’t Flatter Yourself” bolsters its message of extreme disdain with a Western-worthy twang of strings and hollowed out drums, while “Prescription Vision” uses the twirling of guitars, pouty lead vocals, and supporting group “waahoo” to lead a vow of love for a locked-up lover. Even the whirlwind romance of “Dead ’80s” is reflected in a chaotic twist of guitar and drums that leads listeners right off the rails and into moments of buzzing reverb.
Mrs. Magician uses Strange Heaven to convey their wistful wishes, including the desire to become a sailor that will impress the ladies or forget the love who scorned them. Meanwhile, their fans will wish for a follow-up just as memorable.
Essential Tracks: “There is No God” , “Actual Pain” and “Dead ’80s”