Mrs. Magician - Bermuda (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mrs. Magician

Bermuda (2016)

Swami


There’s no shortage of bands drowning their sorrows in danceable music. Mrs. Magician is one you should pay attention to. Bermuda, their sophomore release, callouses over life’s struggles in 60s rock and fuzzy guitars, which makes for a hell of a good time.

If Bermuda has two things going, it’s big, sobering hooks and dirty guitars. “No Action” and “Forgiveness” are great examples of Mrs. Magician repeating a chorus until it sticks. But listen closely because lead singer Jacob Turnbloom is spilling his wrecked guts, “Life sucks, tough shit, you wanna get real, get used to it.” The lyrics are pessimistic and sung through grinding teeth and forced smiles. The music tries to cover up the bleakness. That is until midpoint “Jessica Slaughter” and closer “The Limbo (Party’s Over)” where they can’t even conceal it anymore.

Bermuda is produced by John Reis (of Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) and his presence cannot be overstated. Reis is a pro when it comes to well done distortion and his production and Swami's release are his stamp of approval. The Beach Boys influences run amok too (“No More Tears,” “Where’s Shelly?”), which compliment the rougher edges nicely. We’re not just talking vocal harmonies, either, but xylophones and bongos as well. The poppy synths often flourish these earworms, but never underestimate those guitars and that snare because they keep Bermuda afloat.

Mrs. Magician put on one solid commiseration party, the kind where everyone’s having a good time while the next morning's reality looms. Band life is clearly taking its toll no matter how much they enjoy being musicians (a common theme this year). “I want a great distraction!” sums up Bermuda perfectly, because if life sucks, we might as well dance it off.