Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Dec 8th, 2021

Magnum Dopus: Suburbanova

Magnum Dopus
(Space Mall Records)

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A keyboard soundscape gives way to plucked piano and big snares on Tennessee-based Magnum Dopus “8PM,” the opener on the band’s new full-length Suburbanova. I like the arpeggiating shimmery feel of the proceedings here, fueling Andrew McCarty’s strong vocal opening to the landscape. The song works easily well when it breaks and gets quieter, the shimmery key effect giving way to softer atmospheric sounds.

“The Waiting Game” has another arpeggiated beat that flows into a sure Talking Head’s-like wry lyric with tight snapping from drummer John Floyd.

Floyd and bassist Tristan Barton man a water-tight beat on the jumpy “Oblivion,” while the title track is a big guitar jangle of a single, with single sailing notes flying, and again a McCarty wry vocal delivery (more spoken than sung this time). Once again, Floyd’s wonderful in-the-pocket drumming moves things along.

“Be Mine,” delivers a tighter metallic drum hit, classic simple bass, and a big chorus, with Sarah Spain providing backing vocals (she also plays keys on this record). The overdriven guitar here cuts a cool lead line back to the big beat. It’s another solid little tune.

Barton runs us through the “White Forest” with some guitar noodling, letting McCarty relating his best paranoia. It is a big thick ender to Suburbanova, with Spain’s backing vocals used just right. It serves well what has come before in a big thick brew of a last tune.

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Magnum Dopus: Suburbanova