Gross Magic – Teen Jamz (Fat Possum)


This five-song EP comes courtesy of Sam McGarrigle who may or may not have taken his musical nom-de-plume from the song “Gross Magik” by Tobacco from Black Moth Super Rainbow. The press has been lumping McGarrigle in with the whole alt-’90s revival scene being spearheaded by label-mates and tour-mates Yuck, but Teen Jamz doesn’t sound like an attempt to relive the days of grunge and 120 Minutes. Yes, there’s a few winks and nods to the ’90s but you could just as easily latch on to the band’s affection for the ’80s via the synths on “Can’t Ignore My Heart”, or the ’70s based on the grand Queen-meets-Lennon-isms of “Dream Gurl”. While it stretches across several genres and eras Teen Jamz reminds me most of The Flaming Lips, circa-Clouds Taste Metallic, but only if you were listening to a warped cassette copy that had been sitting under a radiator for the past fifteen years. “Sweetest Touch” is EP’s best song – ridiculously simple and repetitive, but also anthemic and insanely catchy like The Big Pink’s “Dominoes”. Teen Jamz may be just seventeen minutes long, but it stays with you long after it ends, and you should be on the lookout for more high quality teen jams from Gross Magic in the future.

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