Local Music Reviews
Galaxy 420 Records
Magda-Vega = Stevie Nicks + Alice In Chains
Hard rock in Salt Lake is alive as ever. Magda-Vega does a great job of capturing that dirty, greasy, satisfying, intoxicating, high-inducing, crazy-ass sound, the kind that makes a cigarette more desirable than sex and a night with drunk and sweaty strangers at a show more euphoric than a white man’s business success. Magda Vega’s second studio album release, Stella, emits the kind of rock-show ecstasy you’ve only seen in movies. Their influence sounds like it comes from all sorts of rock genres from multiple time periods: Doom metal, grunge-punk, blues rock—you name it, they sound it.
Each track is filled with satisfying guitar that’s absolutely distorted but full and bodied like an AC/DC song. The guitar, played by Bill Frost, moves the record with solos and rhythms that speak to the soul in the same way as that classic metal sound. The band’s sound is dark and twisted, characterized by the chord progressions they chose. It makes for a sinister feeling that peeks out through the gratifying guitar rhythms and the femme-fronted vocals. It’s a malevolence that’s fascinating and invigorating; meanwhile, there’s this at-home feeling from the classic instrumentation they keep around.
The vocals, sung by Robin Brown, bridge that sinister sound to lyrics throughout Stella that spell out the toxicity of heavy rock, and I mean that in the best way. It wouldn’t be hard rock if it wasn’t fucked up. The track “Electric Sun (Drugs Not Hugs)” spews a list of drugs to prove it, and “Hot 4 Sasich” describes a sexual obsession with the band’s recording artist and producer Mike Sasich. The vocals ring during the bridge, “Some day when I get you alone / Gonna grab your cock like this microphone.” That’s just one example of the myriad outlandish lyrics in this wild ride of a rock album.
Follow along @magdavegaslc to stay in tune with where they’ll be. –Mary Culbertson