The Magpie’s self named release, The Magpie, leaves me with way more questions than answers. Which is my way of writing, “oh my gawd, you gotta check this out just to see if I’m totally nuts.”
First off, the background: The Magpie is a three-piece with Erik Sugg laying down guitar, vocals, and most of the writing. Brian Walsby handles the drums and benefits greatly by some excellent and unique recording of those drims. Mike Deloatch handles the bottom end and some vocals.
The whole shebang was recorded by Mike Dean. Yep, that Mike Dean from Corrosion of Conformity. NOT hip-hop producer Mike Dean (Beyonce, Jay Z). And yeah, this band is from Raleigh, with the usual assortment of local bands leading up to this one (Demon Eye, Snake Nation, bands like that.)
The Magpie was released by Firelight Records, also based in Raleigh. This is the first release from Firelight, which coincidentally is run by Erik Sugg. They even have vinyl set to ship in December. I don’t know if you’ve been paying any attention to the vinyl situation of the past few years, but that can’t be easy!
When I step back and think about it, that’s a hell of a commitment. I mean, most mortals have enough on their hands starting and running a band. Add a label into the mix, and we’re talking an unbelievable list of responsibilities; from Public Relations, Social Media, booking and signing artists to putting down a hefty downpayment on vinyl that honestly, you have no idea if it’s gonna sell. It’s one thing to have a few extra shirts and patches laying around. Boxes of vinyl…?
With all that at stake, the band and the recording had better be good. Fuck that, it better be great! It is, and you can check out my interview with Erik Sugg to get the whole story…
The Bottom Line
What is comes down to is this: The Magpie has unleashed a challenging album that is well worth delving into. Every aspect of this release is carefully crafted, from the incredibly unique vocal delivery to the overall use of guitars degenerate atmosphere if not take the spotlight off of anything else.
But with a band like this, it’s all about the songs. And those songs are awesome. Even when The Magpie starts out a little bit “stock”, they diverge in interesting and unexpected ways. If you are a fan of bands who don’t sound like anyone else, this is must have to your collection!