Magic Potion go retro for debut Pink Gum

Pink GumAppearing out of thin air last spring, Swedish DIY enthusiasts Magic Potion (aka Gustaf Montelius, Andreas Sandberg, Kristoffer Byström and Johan Harrius) caught the attention of bloggers and garage rock fans worldwide with the Hawaiian infused “Deep Web”, a hazy track that shares DNA with both Stephen Malkmus and The Shadows.

Recorded in Stockholm, the band’s debut album Pink Gum is a collection of their work over the last year. Laid down entirely onto analogue tape, the album is particularly thin sounding - the desired effect presumably being to emulate that of 50s surf music and dreamy 60s pop. Opener “Milk” makes Magic Potion’s intentions abundantly clear in just over 3 minutes - simple two-to-four chord structures, strummed relatively un-enthusiastically, with spindly riffs atop and completed by Montelius’ reverb-drenched vocals.

The retro sound gives the album some character, with the aforementioned “Deep Web” and album closer “Peace Pipe” sounding as if they have been worn out from being overplayed, creating a warped, wavering tone. Elsewhere “Gemz” boasts intertwining guitar riffs akin to Ultimate Painting, while “Yummi 1” recalls Weezer’s best attempts at Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies. “Golden Power” includes an odd piano and sample-heavy coda, which thankfully disrupts the album’s otherwise singular dynamic. Recent single “Booored” finds Montelius singing “I woke up feeling nothing, I never let the sun in," his sleepy voice and cynical lyrics a stark contrast against the sprightly two-chord backing.

As the slacker rock revival continues, more and more bands like Magic Potion are finding themselves in the spotlight. But the over-saturation of this style may lead to them simply being considered flavour of the month, and ultimately your stance on Pink Gum will likely depend on your opinion of the genre. Magic Potion know exactly who they are and what they want to do - and do it well - but their sedated, lo-fi mumbles certainly won’t be for everyone. Pink Gum is at the very least a pleasant, calming record - if perhaps bordering slightly on the repetitive side.

Release: 27th May 2016, PNKSLM Recordings

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