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Evolver

Magic Christian

August 17th 2009
DWC1031, Dirty Water Records
Rock and Roll, LP, CD, Download

Something of a rock’n’roll supergroup, Magic Christian comprises Cyril Jordan (formerly of The Flamin’ Groovies) on guitar, Clem Burke (Blondie) on drums, Eddie Muñoz (The Plimsouls) on bass, and Paul Kopf on vocals – four musicians who share an enthusiastic and energetic new approach to classic sounds of the past, bringing them very much up to date.

Magic Christian was formed by guitarist/songwriter Cyril Jordan, who built a devoted - and deserved - cult following recording 15 albums with The Flamin’ Groovies and nearly hit the big time with “Shake Some Action” after they teamed up with Dave Edmunds). Clem Burke’s Blondie, of course, need no introduction, with Burke being a member of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame for his band’s string of hits. Eddie Muñoz’s group, The Plimsouls, achieved their greatest notoriety in 1983 when they appeared in the film Valley Girl with their single release A Million Miles Away, which became a hit. Meanwhile, Paul Kopf has featured in a number of Bay Area bands and is also the promoter of the Bay Pop Festival.  Also featured on the album is Alec Palao, best known these days for his writing but who started out in London group The Stingrays and more recently was known in the USA as a member of The Sneetches.

Magic Christian combine the best parts of sixties garage, rockin’ blues, Beatle beats, power pop, and psyched-out grooves, setting out an iconoclastic yet defining standard of rock’n’roll for the 21st century, with incredible songs that rock and yet at the same time have enough of a pop sensibility to match the best of their previous, famous, bands.  One reviewer said, “Author Terry Southern’s The Magic Christian was a biting satire about the darkest depths that people would go to for money. No one liked the film version starring Peter Sellers, Ringo Starr and a vat of excrement. Thirty-eight years later, the sharp, famously jingly sound of the Rickenbacker 360 twelve-string that was George Harrison's on A Hard Day’s Night and Ticket to Ride fills Magic Christian’s debut Evolver with cocksure glee. With a rough-boy take on Liverpudlian pop, they even manage to tear up Who and Beatles covers nicely. People should be ready for this Magic Christian.”

But this is no retro-pastiche. This is an album packed with surprises. There are hooks aplenty, layers of feedback and fuzz, mixed in with some soul harmonies, dirty blues guitar, a lot of jangle, a little twang, and a strong presence all around. Evolver is great rock’n’roll. Then again, that's exactly what one would expect with the combined talents of Magic Christian. “Get your crash helmet,” as Jose Jimenez (aka Eddie Muñoz) likes to say!

  1. In Your Arms - 2:15
  2. Out In The Street - 2:25
  3. All The Stars - 2:20
  4. Anytime At All - 2:15
  5. Run And Hide - 3:04
  6. Turn Up The Heat - 4:12
  7. Sha La La - 2:33
  8. Tomorrow Never Comes - 4:41
  9. Come And Go - 2:22
  10. The Real Thing - 4:18
  11. Share The Night - 3:08
  12. Something On My Mind - 2:12
  13. Gamblin' Man - 5:27
  14. It's Not True - 2:30

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