The Circle is Round

Magnapop

HHBTM Records, 2019

http://www.magnapop.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/23/2019

Magnapop was a blip on the modern rock radar in the ‘90s. They were signed to a primarily hip-hop oriented label (Priority) and managed to score a few notable hits on rock radio, including “Open The Door” and “Slowly Slowly.” After going on hiatus and then reemerging with an altered lineup, the band (led by Linda Hopper and Ruthie Morris) has been rejoined by their classic rhythm section of Shannon Mulvaney and David McNair. Now, ten years after their last record, they’ve reemerged and not much has changed since the ‘90s. A nine song disc with two 1992 demos included as bonuses doesn’t really sound like too much, but in these days, it’s a veritable gold mine.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the beginning of the first track “Dog On The Door,” it’s as if the band hasn’t changed musically since 1994! The vocals on “A Simple Plan” still sound as great as they did back in the day. It’s nice to see a band from the ‘90s come back and not really change anything about their sound or approach. They’re not changing their sound or teaming with 18 songwriters to get that ever elusive “hit;” no, they’re still just making their style of alt rock and doing it very well.

I have to say that Ruthie Morris’ guitar work on “Super Size Me” is some of the heaviest I’ve heard all year outside of metal records and it’s quite refreshing to the ears. Same thing goes for “Rip The Wreck,” which is insanely impressive to hear for a band like this that never got their due in their heyday.

“What Can I Do” is another track with a heavy dose of guitar that makes it stand out from whatever the hell the kids call modern rock these days. “Disabled” is a bit of a slowed down track but with plenty of guitar fuzz in the background. This band has never really been able to do a full ballad, and that’s quite fine with me.

This is quite the heavy guitar record and might be one of the most impressive releases from a great ‘90s band making a comeback this year.

Rating: B+

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