Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Shrouded in mystery are The Magnetisers. I was searching for information on this band to do my prep for the review. I reached out to them, or who I thought was them, and their label sent me a very nice and thoughtful email response. They told me that they really don’t have much information to share about The Magnetisers. This is a project made up of members of other bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They want the music to be able to speak for them instead of any superfluous information. Well if the music could speak, it would be giving the Gettysburg Address. Maybe I embellish a little, but the music is downright fantastic. And I like that fact that there is limited information. It adds to the mystique of The Magnetisers. It also makes me work a little harder as a reviewer, but I am up for the challenge.
It isn’t much of a challenge at all because the music sells itself. It is self described as lo-fi, but that doesn’t even come close to telling the story. It has some folk elements to it and some pop as well. It also has some serious punk rock attitude and edge without ever raising the volume or their voices. A very rare and skillful technique not easily achieved. I don’t know who these guys are, but based on the music I hear I think they must be heavyweights. This music is too good to be presented by some unknown garage band. I love garage music but one listen of this and it is clear that the production and musicianship is expert. The song Say (Track 3) sounds like the best Big Star song you have ever heard. It is stellar.
The album starts out in a little bit of jangle pop/shoe gazer bliss with the song called Portrait Pt. 1 which is a cross between REM and Dinosaur Jr. This is not a copy, this song is very original, it just draws on the influences before it. This song blends beautifully into Portrait Pt. II which is structured and sonically delivered like a Neil Young and Crazy Horse song. Speaking of Neil Young, the last song entitled Last Cigarette also sounds like it is paying homage to Young. It even has some nice harmonica fills to round out this number nicely.
This album was released on December 30, 2016, but I am telling you right now this will be on my best of 2017 list. It is only 2 days early and this album is too good not to appear on a best of list because of a technicality. This is a must have fo shizzle. Maybe I wasn’t clear, you need to own this!