Friday, October 28, 2011

Album Review: Magazine - No Thyself

No Thyself is the first album in 30 years by punk/alternative rock band Magazine and the sixth in the discography. The band has obviously changed in terms of personnel since their last album, singer Howard Devoto is there, so are drummer John Doyle and keyboardist Dave Formula. Replacements on guitar and bass are Noko and Jon White.

The task for this album was always going to be whether they could still pull off the Magazine sound and whether people would still give a shit about them. Thankfully for a fan of Magazine (myself) the answer is a definite yes thanks mainly to Devoto. I've always felt Howard Devoto sounded a little like Dracula and the first track on this album titled Do The Meaning solidified this for me further. The darkish atmosphere of the song adds to it while the keys coming in make it down right dark. The album starts off strongly with the track Do The Meaning immediately the riffs produced by new guitarist Noko has at least shown a capable replacement for John McGeoch (the tr00 guitarist).

The band still has the retro feel in it, the organ/keyboard sounds bring it out as well as the sonic the hedgehog sounding backing. (you know the music as you play the game) this is definitely apparent on the track Other Thematic Material which has Howard Devoto's vocals in its evil tones to really continue the dark Dracula like scene he is building. A song to dead singers in Hello Mr Curtis (with apologies) referencing the late Joy Division singer and also Mr Cobain.

The album slows with the track Physics the keys and guitar keep it dark and simple, while the vocals are heartfelt and remind me a little bit of Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (the bit with the puppets at the end). If anything the album continues to show a strong return to the music scene for a band that had made some pretty good music a long time ago.

There really wasn't any bad moments on this album, its just a pretty good album from these guys. Howard Devoto vocally is spot on and hasn't missed a beat since their last album all those years ago. This one certainly fits into the discography very easily and the alt rock sounds at times make it really nice.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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