MAGIC CIRCLE - JOURNEY BLIND LP
Who said anything about running out of ideas? The stubborn ones were born to linger, to nose out newer, more subtle permutations with the help from a few ragged fucks willing to practice them. Magic Circle mutt roll in heavy metal whatness, striking a balance with the pituitary culture it begat, and the tunes it jacked out. Suburban drag races. Basement bum wine scrum. Every collective thought burnt into a dirty tape dub of Mob Rules. Sabbath, especially in its later incarnations, hulks ephemerally among all openings, rests and codas. When Chris Corry’s and Dan Ducas’s guitars aren’t jelly-legging around Iommi, they’re rekindling “Neon Knights,” brandishing “Die Young” credo. Meanwhile, Q clubs the kit like a drunken Ginger Baker. Brendan Radigan stakes a big, black flag in vocal territory long occupied by Saint Vitus, Saxon, Armored Saint and Trouble. Bassist Justin DeTore alternates creepy crawl and thunder word belch, laying yoke over each tune and driving them predjudicially underground. But motherfuck simply “sounding” like these bands. Magic Circle celebrates them, and in doing so honors the form they have found. It’s heavy metal. Hit hard. Write riffs that clack along like rustbucket tanks into perpetuity. “Play” bass in ways that make you at once inseparable from every punch the drummer lands, and also ghosts every riff—working beneath, between, behind the rhythm. Sing that fucking story as every ancient did their Homer. It means something. It stands for something. Bring that to the tape. And so Magic Circle does. Tunes are rude, vicious. Some lumber ominously along, bare-fisting the downbeat through riffs risen from basements held in the odors of stale beer, mold and want. Others stuff the song’s shape with directional changes—tipping a cap to Trouble and Saint Vitus via Sabbath. All the dots are easily connected. There’s no sport there. But, in lieu of refinement, one gets an honest reckoning: Magic Circle is a band (quickly) becoming. Through the web of influence and itchy, artistic compulsion they’ve found savage and ultimately promising ways of reanimating long since taxidermied forms.