It’s pretty difficult to figure out the true intentions of San Diego’s Mrs. Magician. For one, they just started – literally just started – making music: so far they’ve only waxed four songs, split up among two 7” releases. For another, the cover of the There Is No God 7” looks like it was lifted from either a bizarre horror movie or a disturbing 1930s medical textbook. Yet, when you turn on that little single, the sounds you hear are unexpectedly that of a semi-melodic post punk band kicking out compelling drum rhythms, hints of synthesized ivory, and metronomic guitar work, all with a fuzzy ambiance of distortion amongst the muddiness of a Jonestown Massacre recording.
The voices are the most captivating element of this 7”, especially on the title track when they’re singing the phrase “There’s no god!” so gleefully that even the most strident atheist listener will find himself thinking, “Man, I’m pushing my luck.” That knack for blurred melody is also the star of side B’s “I’m Gonna Hang Out with The Lesbians Next Door and Drop Acid”. Though the song itself starts out as little more than a run-through of Surfer Blood’s “Neighbour Riffs”, it picks up speed, begins churning out more noise, and touches on themes of the Devil and what to do (or possibly not to do) when fucked up in a hotel room.
Mrs. Magician does a Jekyll/Hyde with their second 7”, The Spells, though which disc is which probably depends on drugs. The recordings here touch on the diametrically grounded themes of love and heaven, and, while still pretty rough, the fracas of There Is No God’s unfettered noise has been all but rubbed out. The result is a much more straightforward offering, with the band taking a cue from its contemporaries Heavy Hawaii on the Mike Love-influenced cover of Rosie and The Originals’ “Angel Baby”, while “The Spells” takes the surf sounds even further, adding Surfer Rosa-esque snare work on the drums.
I’m pretty bummed that there are only four tracks to listen to because I want a lot more where that came from, whether it be their noisy chaos or their low-key crooning. This, I suppose, is a good thing because while I may have a deeper affection for affront-to-God rock n’ roll than I do for early 60s doo-wop, I’ve spent enough time listening to Mrs. Magician’s twelve total minutes of recorded music to dig any direction they choose to take.