Review: The Magic Gang – EP Three

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The gang continues to prove why they deserve their tips with four distinctive indie rock tunes.

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It was only by chance that I discovered The Magic Gang, but now that I’ve listened to them I’ll be buzzing about their music with every new release. There’s a reason that the Brighton-based quartet is on Apple Music’s New Artist 2017 list, and with their third EP they continue to show why they deserve to be in the spotlight just as much as more established indie bands like Circa Waves and Catfish And The Bottlemen.

EP Three may only be four short songs, filled with smooth riffs and bouncy drums, but that’s part of its sweetness. This is part of why I love the band so much – they just seem to love their music and love playing it. Put almost any of their songs on full blast and, such is their tangible enthusiasm, you can’t help but dream of beer gardens and long days chilling on the beach. It’s almost fitting that EP Three is as fleeting as a British summer.

But on to the songs themselves. Lead single ‘How Can I Compete‘ is a plucky indie anthem that should dwell comfortably on radio and playlists of the year’s best alternative music, perfect for road trips and lazy afternoons alike. Opener ‘Hotel Apathy’ is a great introduction to the gang, exhibiting their typically delightful riffs and catchy choruses. In ‘No One Else,’ lead singer Jack Kaye explores noticeably darker themes than in the band’s previous work, yet he still confidently pulls it off as the band provides a suitable mix of the upbeat and the mellow to assist him. To conclude, pace slows in ‘Life Without You,’ the most heartfelt song on the record. Each track is distinct from the last, and yet each has discernible traces of The Magic Gang DNA from the homey guitar to Kaye’s heartwarming vocals that pervade each song. Admittedly, no track is perfect and it’s difficult to class a set of only four songs as a masterpiece, but the balance of variety and affinity across EP Three is certainly praiseworthy.

Since I first discovered The Magic Gang, they have with good reason been the first band I’ve turned to when people have asked me to recommend new music. There’s something decidedly feel-good about their music, and they certainly have the talent to make it big should they achieve that one hit single to make a mainstream splash. Unfortunately, such a thing is not to be found on EP Three, but what you will get is four lovingly-crafted songs that will deservedly dwell within any self-respecting indie fan’s library across the summer. With a spring tour, a supporting slot alongside Circa Waves’ UK tour ongoing, and a trip to Southampton at the end of May for another show at Common People just announced, it feels like about time to finally release a full-length album. But, for now, EP Three and its predecessors (EP and The Second EP From) are enough to keep things merrily ticking along.

EP Three is out now via Yala Records

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I play/watch/listen to things, then write about playing/watching/listening to things. Special powers include downing two litres of tea at a time and binging a 13-episode Netflix series in only 12 hours. Records Editor 2018/19 OMG

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