|Magic Eight Ball - 'The Magic Eight Ball Sampler' (Self Released)|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Tuesday, 22 March 2011 05:00|
With no accompanying press pack or information, just a CD-r with song titles scrawled in green and red felt tip, I enter the world of Magic Eight Ball.
Luckily the magic world of Myspace gives me a helping hand and the info needed. Magic Eight Ball are basically singer/songwriter Baz Francis and a revolving cast of band members who have been recording and gigging since 1997 in one form or another, including a well received EP, 'A Peacock's Tale', in 2007 and supports with The Black Mollys and Enuff Z'Nuff.
Opening track 'Baby Is It So?' has an distinct 60s pop feel, the chord progression sounding like Dodgy/The Kooks, pure indie pop at its best.The background vocals compliment the song well, I can tell Baz Francis has a keen ear for a good melody, and he manages to make a five minute plus song sound like a three minute pop song. 'Never Need New Genes' sounds like a lost Redd Kross b-side,the sublime melody of the verse is pure power pop and with the sugary, sweet background vocals throughout the refrain of "You don't know what you got til it's gone" I get the distinct feeling Magic Eight Ball may have some special tunes going on here, and this is my favourite one. 'Woman and I' is so-so, not as instant as the previous tracks, although it is a live recording. It does however show a tight live band with some promise. The acoustic led 'Local Girls' is a sweet and simple tune, the almost James Dean Bradfield sounding vocals work well, along with the sweet backing vocals it sort of oozes style and quality.
Overall the songs are well written, and classic sounding. Baz Francis is a very gifted songwriter and a man who knows what he wants. Mixing his influences with a certain quirkiness makes for an interesting sound, and one that could be very marketable. Stick this guy in a top studio for a couple of months and I would love to hear the results. I can imagine more beautiful, well crafted songs to fill the gap in my life left by the much missed (by me anyway) Jellyfish and Redd Kross.
I sampled the Magic Eight Ball and I liked it, I think you will too.