Two new albums have appeared which present a very interesting choice for Beach Boys fans. Firstly we have Brian Wilson one of the greatest living composers on the planet doing rather unremarkable things to songs by George Gershwin. Then we have the Magic Kids from land locked Tennessee, home to country and all things "Grand ole opry", and yet it is our country chums who sound like they have just had just caught a wave with Jan and Dean and bought a scratched vinyl version of the Beach Boys debut "Surfin Safari" from which they have liberally stolen songs. Indeed while I would jump to almost certain death from a speeding train for Mr Wilson should he ever request such a feat, its the wonderful Magic Kids who should be the beneficiary of your hard earned cash since "Memphis" is utterly disposal but totally irresistible.
"Whats new" I hear you cry, do we really need another bunch of Beach Boys obsessed 20 year olds to add to Best Coast. Wavves, The Freelance Whales, the Dum Dum Girls et al? The honest answer is probably not but when they record songs as melodiously brilliant as the bubblegum surf pop of "Hey Boy" with its huge Shirelles like girl backing you can just about forgive them anything and in addition offer them your daughters hand in marriage. Listen on Spotify and fall in love. Similarly opener "Phone" is pure Beach Boys with Wilson Brothers harmonies and is as infectious as H5N1 avian flu. "Candy" has a sad, regretful melody and adds a trumpet to an excellent building conclusion. "Superball" is plain stupid and throwaway and like all great pop music you will love it to infinity and beyond. Obviously the band had to include a song called "Summer" and clocking at 3.52 minutes it is almost the Magic Kids equivalent of a prog rock opera. Ornate orchestration is this songs prime feature and we can all endorse lead singer Bennett Foster's wish that the months of June, July and August should be about little more than to "disappear in the arms/ Of college girls set free". In songs that follow such as "Sailin" and "Cry with me baby" I dare you to try not be swept up with all the youthful enthusiasm since there is something as fresh as "Shake'n'Vac" about all this despite the debts of honour.
God knows where this band goes next since there is probably only one throw of the dice in producing such a "magpie orientated" album of blissed out pre 1964 Beach Boys pure pop, although I suppose they could try to rewrite "Pet Sounds" or perhaps set their sights on another group from Memphis itself. A new Big Star album; now that would be worth a listen.