Everybody Loves a Pop Star
By Amy Dalness
"I don't necessarily think we sound like any of them," says Phil Benson, the singer for Magic Bullets. "People are so obsessed with putting a label on things."
"It's good company to be in," adds guitarist Corey Cunningham, "but it can backfire."
One label Magic Bullets isn't afraid to embrace is the genre of pop. Magic Bullets was started in 2004 by Benson and Cunningham with the intent to create pop music as a break from their other band, The Cosmos. The new musical endeavor gave Cunningham—the singer for The Cosmos—a chance to focus on his guitar playing while Benson—the guitar player for The Cosmos—dusted off his vocal chords. They had no real plans of moving the project beyond the creative/brainstorming stage, but over time they added Colin Dobrin on drums, Ryan Lynch on guitar, Matthew Kallman on keyboard and Nathan Sweatt on bass guitar. The project expanded out of the creative realm as Magic Bullets played gigs around San Francisco, recorded their first album, a CHILD but in life yet a DOCTOR in love, and hit the road for a national tour.
As Magic Bullets' debut album, a CHILD is an incredibly refined and definitive indie-pop record. Cunningham and Lynch share an ability to write complementary guitar melodies, leading the listener on two different paths to the same destination. The effect is subtle, energizing and quintessentially pop. Then there's Benson's fluid, impassioned voice. Tagged a crooner (again, by his publicist), Benson is like a young-punk Frank Sinatra. The deep, persistent tone Benson belts into every note is refreshing in a world of indie-pop screamers and mumblers.
Magic Bullets doesn't care whether you think they sound like Orange Juice, The Sound, The Feelies or Frank Sinatra. Just show up and give them some Burque love.
See Magic Bullets at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Monday, July 30, starting at 10 p.m. As always, it's free and 21+.
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