Desire’s Magic Theatre
Release Date: April 29, 2016
While I enjoyed London, England’s Purson’s debut, their switch to Spinefarm Records seems to have been good for them. The band return with a 60s/70s inspired Psychedelic Rock album that leans way more towards the “rock” than their debut did. Sophomore jinx? Successfully avoided.
Desire’s Magic Theatre is much more of an event than I was expecting. The band sound a little brighter here musically, allowing their Doors, Steppenwolf, and Iron Butterfly influences to creep in and steal the spotlight. The end of the album’s namesake track is a good example of this with its jazzy improvs and rockin’ flute that leads perfectly into the groove-heavy rock of “Electric Landlady.” Cunningham’s seductive vocals carry the psych rock to new places by beckoning you deeper into the fuzz-laden guitar vortex while the solos make sweet love to each other. It all feels rather naughty I must say. It’s probably best if we don’t tell my wife.
“The Way It Is” is another of my favorite moments. The trippy vocals are pushed along by the clean leads and backed by bouncy horns and electric piano work. It’s a helluva lot of fun while maintaining its nostalgic sound. “The Bitter Suite” brings the album to a close, sounding like the bastard child of Amanda Palmer and Jethro Tull being directed by a young Alice Cooper. Clocking in at a little over seven minutes, this one is epic in both its psychedelia and its underlying 50’s Pop vibe.
Desire’s Magic Theatre is miles ahead of The Circle and the Blue Door. It’s a lot more upbeat and loose, shedding some of the Occult Rock aspects and allowing some new influences to take their place as the predominant features of the band. This is a great album if you are looking for something retro, fun, and rockin’. It’s a flippin’ burrito filled with cool and you should eat it.
Reviewed by mark1340