Magic Hero vs. Rock People
Dark sunshine pop debut.
1 After the Game / 2 Only a Wizard in the Wind / 3 Out of Season / 4 Wonder Is All Around / 5 Rocketing Rhythms II / 6 The Close Purveyor of Fog / 7 Selfless Nameless Vanity / 8 Upset in the Sun / 9 Short-Leaf Clover / 10 Addicts and Dealers / 11 Say What You Want / 12 Astro-Turf / 13 A New Wizard, a New Star / 14 This is All I Can Do / 15 One-Way Woman / 16 Not Far from Home / 17 We Sail Around / 18 The World Unknown / 19 The Only Road You're Gonna Find / 20 World for Kings
"Displaying psych-pop tendencies crossed with a love of Todd Rundgren (there is a track called “A New Wizard, A New Star"), The self titled album from Magic Hero vs. Rock People is an admirable collection of 20 short songs that are interesting, varied, well produced and never dull, meaning the album flies by, as you hum melodies, get captured by the lyrics and sometimes wonder who that song reminds you of. As with so many Terrascopic albums, this gets better the more you play it, revealing missed textures, or short songs that were hidden last time around." --- Simon Lewis and Stephen Palmer, Terrascope UK
"beautifully produced and always interesting." --- Tom Rapp, Pearls Before Swine
Begin Thee Again
Magic Hero's second album, Begin Thee Again, is an even softer and more psychedelic affair than their 2008 debut. This record finds the heroes gathered around an acoustic piano, exploring themes of individuality vs. religion, politics, homelessness, and existentialism. They retain their trademark technicolor soundscape and have added a new array of unique and unusual sounds, all captured on tape as sacredly as possible, by candlelight, as if it were 1968.
1 You Must Stand on Your Own / 2 You Say That I’m Strange / 3 I Used to Know Christ / 4 Is Everything Alright? / 5 True Story of a Boy Who Never Went to Vegas / 6 A Habit of Grace / 7 Let Us Not Presume / 8 Homeless Where You’re Hard-up / 9 A New Star / 10 Loving Happiness / 11 Heightened Weight / 12 Such Fragile Little Creatures / 13 Hard Candy / 14 Love is All Around / 15 The Honor of Great Choices
"Begin Thee Again is a 15 song meld of John Lennon, Straylight Run, Pink Floyd, The Fray, Cher’s 'Gypsy’s, Tramps And Thieves', Something Corporate, Burt Bacharach, Todd Rundgren and a whole bunch of eighties new wave bands like Echo And The Bunnymen. Their rage against the machine is much quieter and more laid back than say, Rage Against The Machine or even The Manic Street Preachers. This piano based, folk rock album will take more than one listen to absorb the full extent of what’s presented. It’s a somber, heady mix." --- J.R. Oliver, Ear Candy
Odd Zen Ends
Magic Hero vs. Rock People's third and most ambitious effort to date, Odd Zen Ends, contains some of the group’s best work. Take a capsule and trip through this collection of psych-pop freak-outs, as the group cuts loose on far-out songs like “Black Magic” and “Hole in Time”. Sky Saxon sets the scene for this record, and in fact joins Magic Hero through all 25 minutes of “Acid Greets Yahowha”, his final recording. And of course, special attention was paid to using only the finest cheap and strange old musical equipment across the board for this album.
1 Black Magic / 2 Naïve Song / 3 Hole in Time / 4 Odd Zen Ends / 5 Look What They Did to Manson / 6 He’s Gone / 7 Trap Door / 8 Trees Will Always Be / 9 It Can Really Take Some Time / 10 Cosmic Habitforce / 11 Meet Me at the Party / 12 Letters in the Sun / 13 Ripple and Wind / 14 Golden Heroes Going Down / 15 Acid Greets Yahowha (Songs from the Mountains)
"... Odd Zen Ends may prove more interesting and varied for Terrascopic tastes – 'Hole In Time' is a minor psych/prog classic, complete with extended flute and violin workouts, while everyone’s favourite garage goon, the late Sky Saxon, turns up on 'Acid Greets Yahowha (Songs From The Mountains)' banging on about Father Yod as was so often his want. All very intriguing and in Mono, too." --- Terrascope, UK
"Unearthing an unissued 1967 Harry Nilsson demo that was originally penned for the Monkees via scholarly research and then recording it as if the past 45 years has not happened is a most wonderful Shindig!-worthy endeavor. Magic Hero vs. Rock People deliver Nilsson's unknown 'I Live In A World' with a performance and production that capture every nuance you would have heard from the maverick himself. Of the remaining four tracks on this seven-inch maxi-EP/mini-LP, '1978' could have been on Ariel Ballet, stating the huge influence Harry has on these guys. It's eccentricity and story telling lyricism is a joy.
Elsewhere Magic Hero are redolant of a quirky small town American college band of the period. 'Question of Treason' has a garage band doing The Doors and Strawberry Alarm Clock thing going on -- its slightly off vocals and wobbly, tremeloed guitars adding an incredible air of authenticity." --- Jon Mojo Mills, Shindig! Magazine.
Side One: 1 I Live in a World / 2 Heroes for Sale - Side Two: 1 Time to Crawl in My Hole / 2 1978 / 3 Question of Treason
Great Gondolas Calling
'60s-type folk pop, featuring three Charles Manson tunes.
1 Once Upon a Time / 2 Everything Moves / 3 Home is Where You're Happy / 4 Flower for Your Crown / 5 Love, She's Turning Away / 6 Look at Your Game Girl / 7 Black Butterfly / 8 Beware the Young / 9 Then Again, Maybe I Won / 10 Eyes of the Dreamer
Oak of the Golden Dream
"Magic Hero are sprinkled with Californian sunshine on this collection ... 'The Day Spring of All Things' has a hint of Bubblegum running through it, 'I'll Follow' sounds like a mellow version of The Monkees, 'Piece by Piece' has a more psychedelic sound, and 'Summer is a Place in my Mind' is like an Airplane outtake worth owning. On 'When the Rain Left' and 'Treat it Like Your First', the sound switches to a more UK Psych feel -- both tunes relaxed and gorgeous; the melodies wrapping themselves around you like incense smoke ...
With chiming guitars, delicate keyboards and a sixties groove, this is a collection that sounds both familiar and enticing, something the title track displays by the bucket load. By the time you get to 'It All Depends on Everything' your life will be a little bit better, guaranteed." --- Simon Lewis, Terrascope UK.
1 Set Sail / 2 The Day Spring of All Things / 3 Aim High / 4 I'll Follow / 5 Piece by Piece, Magic by Magic / 6 A Season in Time / 7 Summer Is a Place In My Mind / 8 When the Rain Left / 9 Treat It Like Your First / 10 A News Reporter’s Dream / 11 White Man’s Whim / 12 In My House / 13 Oak of the Golden Dream / 14 Sail Away / 15 It All Depends On Everything
Mystery of Revival
Donny Lang has been making vintage-sounding 'Thrift Shop Psych-Pop' since 2007 with his group of revolving minstrels, Magic Hero vs. Rock People. The Magic Hero sound relies heavily on a unique sort of lo-fi vision -- through the soundscape of late '60s-early '70s soft-psych, calling to mind long-lost would-be outsider classics.
Mystery of Revival is a compilation featuring songs culled from all of the group's albums: Oak of the Golden Dream, Secret Enemies, Magic Hero vs. Rock People, Begin Thee Again, Odd Zen Ends, and Great Gondolas Calling, along with previously unreleased outtakes.
These recordings were made in an old-fashioned manner: tapes, tubes, transformers, and transistors. The original 1/4" 2-track and mono masters were used for this collection.
Side One: 1 I Live in a World / 2 Treat It Like Your First / 3 Black Magic / 4 Astro-Turf / 5 Letters in the Sun / 6 A Grand Stop in the Best Direction / 7 Only Road You're Gonna Find / 8 He's Gone / 9 Begin Thee Again (Movements) / 10 Oklahoma Rain -- Side Two: 1 It All Depends On Everything / 2 Hole in Time / 3 You Must Stand On Your Own / 4 1978 / 5 Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? / 6 Contraband / 7 Pretty As Can Be / 8 Beware the Young / 9 A Season in Time / 10 You Must Stand On Your Own (Reprise)