Get ready for some face-rockin’ psychedelic experimentation. Listening to the music of Magic Lantern reminds me, first, of the late 60s where blends of psychedelic pop, folk and rock dominated and freedom wasn’t just a hippie movement, but a trait occasionally incorporated into music. Sure, that allowance has continued through time, but Magic Lantern has the sound of that era in guitar and expression alike.
The next telling item is the free-range of which Magic Lantern partakes. It takes that early psych influence, but it elevates it to a modern level of experimentation. If you think of early acid-psych and add 30 years of continuous improvements to the drug, and the music on Platoon would be the likely result. In a way, I hear hints of Hendrix, but modern and unadorned by a wide range of hallucinogens.
These songs border on psych-noise, but the chaos is contained and melodic. “Dark Cicadas” takes psychedelic freak-out to a whole new level, while “Planar/Sonar” blends in a bit of chanting on an otherwise mostly instrumental album. True to this style of music, Magic Lantern creates very vivid and colorful music. It’s dirty as a mud pit and cluttered with spur-of-the-moment improvisational techniques, but it’s also focused in a hazy, drug-induced sort of way.
Platoon is the sort of album you listen to in the dark while laying on the floor trying to pierce your gaze through the ceiling to see the clear night sky. If one gets the impression that the fog won’t ever clear, they’d be right — at least, until the final note of the final song.
Listen: “Moon Lagoon Platoon” by Magic Lantern
Not Not Fun Records [CD, 2010]
1. Dark Cicadas
2. Moon Lagoon Platoon
4. On The Dime