March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Magik Markers – Surrender to the Fantasy

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Magik Markers
Surrender to the Fantasy
Drag City Records
Street: 11.18
Magik Markers = Sonic Youth + The Velvet Underground + Six Organs of Admittance
Perhaps the key to understanding Magik Markers’ new album is that it was recorded under the roof of J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), even though that may not be apparent on listening, as it lacks the incessant fuzztone of his music. It’s the introspective turn into a fantasy realm, even if, instead of his grungy stuffed animals, it’s the evocation of some barefoot, unheated ’60s hippie collective walkup, with all the demonism and beauty that implies. After the relatively straight-forward songs of their 2009 release Balf Quarry, there is a looseness and return to experimentation. The “Screams of Birds and Girls” are equivocated, although singer Elisa Ambrogio’s voice is softly intoning, even when the noise is screaming around her. What are the Magik Markers really asking us to surrender to? These “Acts of Desperation” (Ambrogio’s voice echoes out in loneliness against the hollow chime of guitars) seem like the last resort (at least until their next one) of seekers struggling to understand the mysteries of the sonic world. –Stakerized!
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