Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CD Review: Rob Magill "But Yet I Still Try To Find Beauty In Something Completely Disgusting" (Weird Cry Records)

[$8 //]

"But Yet I Still Try" (as I will shorten this title to be for now) is the third CD that I have listened to by Rob Magill and though I am aware that he plays in other bands on Weird Cry Records, this is really just my third time listening to a CD under his name and I've been trying to listen to these in as much of an order of release as possible and so this one also very well could be his third album overall.    I'm only making mention of all of this because after two previous CDs you think I would either come to know what to expect from Rob Magill or at least be able to give you some better insight into his music, but no, I can't.    Now, in some ways, the music does feel more familiar on this CD than on the first or even second CD I listened to, but no, I still have no idea what to expect when I press play.

At first, this sounds a lot like Tom Petty to me, "Last Dance with Mary Jane" style.   There is a saxophone and it comes out in that older rock n roll way that could be remniscent to some of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" (such an amazing song)  It's upbeat rock with an audio clip about "What's your new band like?" which is a rather hilarious kind of interview.   There is the sound of the ringing of a tiny bell, such as someone would get for a servant, and then it takes on the same idea as the first CD as the songs begin to come out with vocals.   So there are elements of the first Rob Magill CD but the only thing that keeps this in line with the second CD is that it has the saxophone and guitar on it but they're not exclusive here as they were then.

Songs take on spoken word qualities which remind me of someone reading a pulp detective novel, with only the most appropriate of music backing it up.   There is the sounds of a carousel or just a video game in general as well, and this brings about memories of the Atari game "Carnival" for me.   Between guitar tuning and guitar scales we find our way towards the end of the CD and as much as I like this on the whole I must say that it just gets better as it goes along.   The ninth song "Stay In The Ground" has vocals and strings- which I think are violins- and yet it has this raw, punk sound to it you might hear out of folk punk or some sort of punk in general if you replaced the otherwise strings (I still think they're violins) with a traditional guitar.

After a distorted blast the tenth songs goes into that carousel sound again and then the final track, which clocks in at over seventeen minutes, is really the opus here.    It's called "The Ballad Of A Depressed Person" and really is.   It begins with vocals and an acoustic guitar, in the way you might imagine Bob Dylan sitting down somewhere in the 1960's to sing a protest song, but then it goes into something much more trippy and, yes, the saxophone does make its appearance again.    This may or may not be something that you can understand but hearing the saxophone here makes me think of it being the last call for the last train ride out of the city.

Without taking anything away from the CD which came before this, it is hard for me to have captured that one in a review without simply saying "It's a guitar and sax", even though so much else was happening under the surface of it all.   This Rob Magill CD actually has more going on both under and on the surface, as it can be apparent by my writing about it and being able to spew so much (too much?) out about it.   I also just like to think that having listened to Rob Magill twice before this plays a part in my way of having things to discuss and that might hold true no matter what order I've listened to them in.  

Still, I see Rob Magill overall as a puzzle and each piece you put into place helps you to see the bigger picture, so yes, without having heard the ones before this I wouldn't have been able to make this much sense of this CD.   And I'm thinking that with each CD after this and other pieces of music I will only begin to understand the music of Rob Magill that much more, regardless of how much I like it or how brilliant it is (Because simply saying "I like this, it's brilliant" doesn't make for a good review... I think)   Not since Blue October have I felt like an artist's entire discography has been so vital, but Rob Magill has managed to parallel that notion here even if the music is fairly different.

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