|The Magic Numbers||Outsiders|
The Magic Numbers — Outsiders (11th May 2018)★¡★ I never wanted to be a part of anything, the cool kids at school, the pretend outlaws.
★¡★ I was always an outsider, we’ve always been an outsider band. We don’t fit in, never have and never will. Especially now.
★¡★ As you get older you realise your strength in not giving a fuck.
★¡★ You realise what you’ve been trying to do your whole life.
★¡★ Create something that’s yours, your own world, your own views, make something special.
★¡★ Start your own gang, but always be YOU within it.
★¡★ Don’t conform. Don’t fall in line. Be free.
★¡★ Be inspired. Inspire. Live & Love.
★¡★ To all the Outsiders.
★¡★ The Magic Numbers.
Location: London, England
Genre: Pop Rock, Indie Rock
Album release: 11th May 2018
Record Label: Role Play Records/Park The Van Records
01. Shotgun Wedding 3:35
02. Ride Against the Wind 3:40
03. Runaways 4:29
04. Sweet Divide 5:26
05. Wayward 2:40
06. The Keeper 2:58
07. Dreamer 3:36
08. Power Lines 3:46
09. Lost Children 4:21
10. Sing Me a Rebel Song 6:43
℗ 2018 Park The Van Records
★¡★ Angela Gannon melodica, percussion, Vocals, design
★¡★ Sean Gannon drums, design
★¡★ Michele Stodart bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals, design
★¡★ Romeo Stodart guitar, piano, vocals, production, design
? “Outsiders is how we’ve always felt,” said frontman Romeo Stodart, explaining the title of The Magic Numbers’ fifth album. “As a band, and as people. We’ve never really fit in. Even when things escalated quickly for the band, and we were at some awards ceremony, we always felt like we stuck out. It was the time of skinny indie boys — The Strokes, The Libertines — and then there we stood.”
? “I’ve been revisiting lots of early rock’n’roll and blues records, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf,” Stodart continued. “I’ve fallen madly in love with the electric guitar again for sure. I love T. Rex, and Bowie. The silver lining of the sadness of losing David Bowie was that you go back and become obsessed again. Even the way he left us was a work of art.”
? 2018 release. London quartet The Magic Numbers return following a four~year hiatus with the release of Outsiders. Co~produced by Dave Izumi in Izumi’s own Echo Zoo studio in Eastbourne, work began on Outsiders in early 2017. The album, though instantly recognizable as a Magic Numbers record in it’s melodies, begins with a more raucous punch sonically. The confidence is more evident than ever before, noticeable immediately in the more bluesy, gnarly guitar sound.
? Led by Trinidad~born singer/songwriter Romeo Stodart, London’s Magic Numbers blend the melodic experimentation of artists like the Flaming Lips and David Axelrod with the sweet harmonies of ‘60s pop groups like the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Mamas & the Papas. Stodart began making music with drummer Sean Gannon almost immediately upon moving to the U.K. from New York City in the early 2000s. They were eventually joined by Romeo’s sister Michele on bass and Sean’s sister Angela on percussion and melodica.
? The group signed with the U.K.~based EMI imprint Heavenly Records in 2004 and released its critically acclaimed self~titled debut the following year. The band’s sophomore effort, Those the Brokes, arrived in 2006, followed by the Undecided EP in the summer of 2007. Next, a third full~length album, The Runaway, was released in July 2010, entering the U.K. charts at 46. After a heavy touring schedule in support of the record, which included dates as far afield as Australia, the band took a brief respite, and bassist Michele Stodart used the break to release a country~inspired solo album in 2012. Inspired by the stripped~back nature of The Runaway, the outfit regrouped for an acoustic tour in 2013. A fourth album, Alias, recorded at the band’s home studio, was released in 2014. ~ James Christopher Monger
Sean Guthrie, 12th May
? Four years have passed since Romeo Stodart and co gathered to record an album. Long~time masters of often~overlooked first principles such as melody, harmony and songwriting, the quartet here indulge their natural instinct to gravitate towards the sweet spots of late 20th~century rock and pop, variously evoking the supple swing of Marc Bolan, the gnarled overdrive of Neil Young and the American teen pop revered by everyone from Phil Spector to Bruce Springsteen. It’s a warm, uplifting collection unencumbered by notions of cool, concerned instead with beauty, love and optimism.
? Where The Keeper and Shotgun Wedding channel the glam jive of T Rex (with a sprinkling of Big Star), Runaways takes matters into another dimension entirely, shifting between woozily nocturnal verses and sunlit choruses with the ease of Buckingham/Nicks~era Fleetwood Mac. The dexterity continues with Sweet Divide, which draws both on Young’s valve~melting guitar work and his penchant for a loping groove, the delicate poignancy of Wayward and the classic melodrama of Dreamer, a song you’d like to think Roy Orbison is singing in heaven.
? If this record wants for anything it is personality, but for those with a thirst for mellifluous, accomplished and unapologetically adult pop~rock it will be nigh impossible to see past Outsiders. ? http://www.heraldscotland.com/
Album reviews: The Magic Numbers hark back to the 70s on the excellent Outsiders; Score: 10/10
? The Magic Numbers’ first album since 2014 sees them come back with a new sound, which is bigger and better than anything before. The opening song, Shotgun Wedding, sets the feel of the whole album — you can clearly hear the heavy influences of the 1970s, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac, and their new~found love of the electric guitar. Songs such as Sweet Divide, Ride Against The Wind and The Keeper get your toes tapping and body moving with the upbeat guitar riffs and vocals which, again, have been influenced heavily by the 1970s — Marc Bolan, to be exact. Songs such as Sing Me A Rebel Song and Lost Children close the album perfectly, showing that The Magic Numbers may have evolved, but they have not lost sight of their roots.
JOSHTERZINO, MAY 4, 2018
? When I first heard that The Magic Numbers had a new album coming, I immediately pre~ordered it. That was way back in December of last year. I hadn’t heard a single note of it, but I knew I needed to have it. For a while their first two records were in constant rotation in my ears. I remember picking the first one up at a Hastings after I read something about them on NME back in 2006. I think Those The Brokes was just about to be released, so I got that one shortly after that.
? I played the heck out of those, but then it got real quiet. For years, I didn’t hear anything about them. They stopped touring in the US, so I never got to see them play, and their output slowed down to a record every few years. The Runaway and Alias both flew mostly under the radar on this side of the Atlantic, with the latter peaking at #57 in the UK charts.
? It’s been four years since that album was released, and they’re back with Outsiders. It’s their best work in over a decade, and I’m happy I have been able to enjoy it over the past few weeks. The official release is next Friday, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the music on which they’ve been working.
? Two families~a brother and sister in each the Stodart and Gannon household~become one in some of the sweetest harmonies you’ll find. The sounds on Outsiders will not be foreign to those who have heard the band’s other albums. There’s a nice sense of familiarity here that helps ease the transition into some new territory.
? The guitars are the biggest change. Romeo Stodart amps it up throughout the record and the result is something I did not expect, but rather enjoy. Take the first single, “Sweet Divide,” as a great example. The strings I was anticipating in the bridge are replaced by a blaring saxophone that bobs and weaves with the guitar to create something never before heard on anything by The Magic Numbers.
? That tune rolls into “Wayward,” which is one of the finest songs The Magic Numbers have done. It’s a much softer piece than “Sweet Divide,” but the emotional resonance is just as strong. If my calculations are correct it’s the shortest track in their catalogue, which somehow makes it even more impressive in my mind.
? Outsiders is a return to form for a band I had feared I’d lost forever. It brings me great joy to know that they’re still able to pull together a record of such beauty. If you have never heard of them, which I fear may be a lot of you, do yourself a favor and get familiar.
? They will be touring in the States a little bit this summer. They have shows booked in NYC, Philly, Boston, and DC. Since they aren’t playing in Chicago, Music.Defined. is heading to New York to catch them at Mercury Lounge! ? https://music-defined.com/
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine; Score: ****
Vinyl store: http://www.eelpierecords.com/
2005 The Magic Numbers Heavenly UK #7
2006 Those the Brokes EMI Music Distribution UK #11
2010 The Runaway Heavenly UK #46
2014 Alias Caroline UK #57
2018 Outsiders Role Play Records/Park The Van Records
|The Magic Numbers||Outsiders|