Artist: Mega City Four
Title: Magic Bullets
Genre: indy/pop punk
01. Perfect Circle
05. Iron Sky
07. Enemy Skies
This is, quite simply, one of the finest albums ever committed to vinyle/tape/CD/MP3/whatever. I adored their earlier works, the haunting beauty of Cradle, the scything venom of Who Cares? the deceptively perky music but depressing sentiments of Ticket Collector. However, I was unprepared for the appearance of this work.
Bullets takes the Megas formula and perfects it. It is less frenetic and more measured than Tranzophobia, more consistent than Who Cares Wins, musically stronger than Terribly Sorry Bob, less poppy and deeper than Sebastapol Rd and much less patchy than Soulscraper. All the rest of their work is excellent but this is their magnum opus. It has all their best features combined and brought to the boil, not to mention that every song is superb and it's a genuine collection of songs, slotted together beautifully.
The Megas had several massive advantages. They were accomplished, if not earth-shattering, musicians, able to carry their material extremely well. By the time of this album their rhythm section was tight as the proverbial, the bass and drums merging seamlessly. The production is sludgy and lands the bass parts a soupiness, almost a drone that makes the music deep and sonorous. However, this is overlaid with cheery, jangly guitars in a layering effect that really brings out Wiz's voice. Wiz sang in a high-pitched, clear voice. It could be reedy, but here the production lends a backing to his singing that enhances it and lends it strength. The song-writing on this album is especially strong. Each song has a real hook, usually built around a clever guitar riff and backed up by the water-tight rhythm section. Never on any of their other material did they hit these heights. Each song is a precise and well-measured length, while the styles vary. This is pop-punk-indie-powerpop (give it whatever label you want!) perfection. Lastly there are Wiz's lyrics. He was, without question, a stupendous lyricist. His topics tended to be on the depressing side, focusing on the downside of life, but boy could he express emotion and pen innovative and storytelling lyrics. Every song on this album has emotive, powerful and engrossing words. ~C.P, Lee