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Majic Ship - Majic Ship (1969) review

Majic Ship "Majic Ship" (Guerssen Records, (1969/2013) 

Originally released on the Bel-Ami label in 1970, "Majic Ship" is an album that gleaned lots more attention after its birth. That's all well and good, but such accolades would have duly benefited the Brooklyn band on a larger scale while they were active. Because the disc was pressed on a small imprint, distribution was limited, which of course amounted to restricted exposure. Had a wider audience been able to hear "Majic Ship," the band definitely would not have sunk into obscurity as they did. Some years ago, Gear Fab Records resurrected the album in digital format on a couple of occasions, with one of the packages containing bonus tracks. The disc being reviewed now, however, is available only on vinyl.

Surging full steam ahead with hard rocking psychedelic sounds, "Majic Ship" is further enriched by firm musicianship and competent songwriting. Comprised of lead singer Mike Garrigan, lead guitarist Phil Polimeni, rhythm guitarist Tommy Nikosey, drummer Rob Buckman and bassist and organist Gus Riozzi, the band boasted an impeccable rapport, and word has it they were quite the live attraction as well.

Plastered with choppy riffage and coiling tempos, the powered punch of "Nightmare" steps in as a great Who imitation, while "Cosmo's Theme" is a buzzing instrumental, "Sioux City Blues" screeches and sizzles with determination to the hissing tone of fuzz guitars, and the crackling electricity of "Life's Lonely Road" pulsates with penetrating acid rock grooves. A warm and relaxing feel charges the meditative mindset of both "Where Are We Going," and "Wednesday Morning Dew," "Too Much" slaves away to a solid and steady beat, and a medley of Neil Young's "Down By The River" and Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" is marked by crisp and crunchy jamming. Consumed by dashing hooks, raw energy and strutting vocals, splashed with a spot of soul, "Majic Ship" is bound to produce high-fives by fans of bands like Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, Nazz and Spirit.

Majic Ship's existence came to a dreary end in 1971 when their equipment was claimed by a fire. 1999 saw the Mike Garrigan and Tommy Nikosey reunite, resulting in an album titled "Songwaves Project" that also included Cher, ex- Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, Dave Amato from REO Speedwagon, and drummer Ron Wikso, who has played with everyone from Foreigner to David Lee Roth to Cher to Randy Meisner to Denny Laine. Although the disc is poppier than "Majic Ship," it's still strongly recommended and adds a nice touch to the band's legacy.

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2013
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1 comment:

Griff Kinsey said...

I found the original album in the early 70's and wore it out by playing it so many times. It's still one of my favorite albums and one of my early musical influences. Thanks Majic Ship!
Griff Kinsey Keyboardist/vocalist Psychedelic Elders