Magic Bullets A Child But In Life Yet A Doctor In Love

Wearing your influences on your sleeve can be dangerous business —— emulate your heroes too closely and the risk of redundancy runs high. Thankfully, Magic Bullets cleverly weave their influences into an inventive whole, making A Child But In Life Yet A Doctor In Love a solid and charming debut. Traces of the band’s musical forefathers can be heard repeatedly throughout the record — a bit of Orange Juice here, a little Talking Heads there and some Felt and Wedding Present in between. However, the San Francisco six-piece never let any one influence dominate, instead assembling them into a contemporary sound of their own. Crisp, jittering guitars, disco-infused bass lines and hi-hat-heavy drums carry the album through ten lively, sunlit tracks such as "Will Scarlet” and "Spilled Milk.” Yet as optimistic and upbeat as A Child But In Life may sound, an undercurrent of melancholy lurks below the surface, mostly as a result of vocalist Philip Benson. His raspy, Morrissey-like croon delivers downcast lyrics of romantic dysfunction and lost youth, making otherwise buoyant tracks such as "Yesterday’s Seen Better Days” and "Heatstroke” a better fit for the home rather than the dance floor. Magic Bullets have made a record here that any band would likely be proud to call their debut. (Words On Music)