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The Night Marchers - See You in Magic (Cover Artwork)

The Night Marchers

The Night Marchers: See You in MagicSee You in Magic (2008)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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From the early `90s up until around 2005, there was at least one other thing you could count on in life beyond death and taxes, and that was John Reis kicking out fresh jams every couple years with one or more of his staple bands like Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu or the Hot Snakes. After R.
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From the early `90s up until around 2005, there was at least one other thing you could count on in life beyond death and taxes, and that was John Reis kicking out fresh jams every couple years with one or more of his staple bands like Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu or the Hot Snakes. After Rocket from the Crypt and the Hot Snakes both abruptly dissolved in 2005, many of Reis' faithful followers were left with an uncertain future, as only disconnected bits and pieces of the Reis rock & roll machine remained intact, like the mainly inactive Sultans and unsubstantiated rumors of a Speedo collective. In early 2008, the mounting gossip and leaking information finally culminated in the unveiling of Reis' new project, the Night Marchers, and suddenly all was right again in the world.

For all the Night Marchers' debut See You in Magic is (a John Reis project, a Swami release, an obscure reference to non-Western folklore -- thanks, Wikipedia) it would be hard to charge bias in foretelling greatness. After all, who in a reasonably stable mental state would disagree that the mere mention of a RFTC or Hot Snakes-related project holds promise? Thankfully, See You in Magic holds up, overcoming the formidable challenge of providing listeners with something original enough to rouse a substantial level of buzz-induced interest, while paying homage to the motley heap of predecessors who paved the driveway to the garage punk Reis' groups have embraced.

Lest we lose perspective in the history of ventures leading up to See You in Magic, it's important to remember that the Night Marchers are not a one-man band. Seasoned Swami veteran Gar Wood's jangley guitar leads are crucial to the path each song takes, whether it be a congenial sweep through the notes as "Jump in the Fire" evoking a Beatles-like warmth, or the ragged chord slams of "Bad Bloods" and honky-tonk hints of "Open Your Legs." In the latter, bassist Tommy Kitsos of Toronto's new favorite, the CPC Gangbangs, spins some subtle fingerwork maneuvers in between pounding out the chords that by the three-minute mark cycles as tight as a loop. Fans of the Hot Snakes will notice a markedly more restrained Jason Kourkounis behind the kit, only letting loose with unbridled aggression for a few moments in "Total Bloodbath" and "I Wanna Deadbeat You," which must be a retort to RFTC's similarly threatening "I Flame You." The type of measured ferocity is evident on tracks like "And I Keep Holding On," which has the buzzing repetition and drone of Rocket from the Crypt's epic freakout anthem "Glazed."

Never a friend of sexual ambiguity in his lyrics, Reis' sentiments are unzipped and unapologetic, as he suggests "Strap me naked wrapped around you / I want more" within the first line of the opener, "Closed for Inventory," and goes on to concede, "We can blame it on your mattress / If that's what it takes" in "Jump in the Fire." The aforementioned "Open Your Legs" is about as unassuming as the Doors' "Light My Fire" was 40 years ago.

See You in Magic closes in ironically simple fashion with "We're Goin' Down" as Reis sturdily croons out the title-chorus over a layer of soothing electric guitar that seems to underline the meaning behind the music. Contrary to any hyperembellished mission statement to rewrite the rock and roll rulebooks penned by Mr. Reis himself, the Night Marchers do a brilliant job of simply delivering creativity and consistency in a manner so confident it seems hesitantly familiar from the first listen without ever sounding rehashed. In a time where most people have to continuously seek out self-indulgent rock and roll to stay satiated, the Night Marchers bring real rock and roll to the people.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Clash - London CallingJawbreaker - Dear YouOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeRocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!Hot Snakes - Audit In ProgressThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeHot Water Music - No DivisionQuicksand - Manic Compression

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Nicoleslaw (December 21, 2008)

I just saw them last night at Lee's Palace and they blew my mind! John Reis kicks ass and it will be one of the most memorable shows in my life time.

Banger (April 30, 2008)

Damn near perfect album. Can't wait to see them live.

elephantdwarf (April 29, 2008)

this album makes me happy to be alive. it gets me so fucking stoked on everything!

ghostmonkey (April 28, 2008)

good review.

I likes the record, its growing on me - In Dead Sleep (I Snore ZZZ) or Whos Lady R U? standout

branden (April 27, 2008)

haha dang, i was drunk as a skunk last night when i posted and i guess i musta been in "nitpick mode". this album rules, i think jump in the fire has one of the greatest guitar riffs ever. it literally gets better everytime you listen to it.

i-type-poorly (April 27, 2008)

whoops, I read carefully again, and saw you did mention Sultans. apologies.

i-type-poorly (April 27, 2008)

I love this album. The review didn't mention Sultans once, of all of Reis' bands, and this album feels very much like Sultans v2.0. This is the kind of swagger I always wanted Sultans (the only thing close to a disappointment Reis ever was in) to have.

The mellower moments like Jump in The Fire are my favorite tunes on this. They remind me of the laid back Group Sounds tracks and the production is amazing. I feel like I'm sitting right in the same room as them.

Reis isn't much of a lyricist. I think in a few songs he bites off more than he can chew, and comes off sounding a bit daft. He is although, a rock god, and this album does indeed rock.

mattramone (April 27, 2008)

Great fucking record. Definitely going to make my year-end list.

Duffmancantbreatheohno (April 27, 2008)

John Reis will always make a killer rock record. I can see this being one of my summer jams. That being said, I agree with the above on some of the lyrics.

baseball (April 27, 2008)

Rock and fucking roll, plain and simple. I love the pop sensibilities that come through in tracks like "Panther in Crime" and "We're Goin' Down", latter of which is a fantastic closing track to this album.

"Closed For Inventory" and "Who's Lady R U?" are also great tracks. Get this album or download it off emusic.

branden (April 27, 2008)

i think he says strip me naked. but yeah this album is very good. some of the lyrics aren't the best though. kinda hits the "dark love" syndrome.

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