I feel duty bound to inform you that Magic Bullets are masters of musical disguise. In the cold light of day, a four piece heralding from San Francisco, Magic Bullets miraculously transforms them into the archetypal 1980s British indie-pop-rock band.

Eleven snappy, musically upbeat tracks wrench you back across the pond, leaving you sprawling at the feet of the likes of The Smiths and Orange Juice. Compare parts of 'They Wrote A Song About You' with 'The Boy with a Thorn in his Side'.

This is not to rob Magic Bullets of any originality. For a start, to be compared publicly to such significant British musical icons is no mean achievement, especially considering the number of native acts who lust after similar praise. Moreover, this is not simply a covers album. The musical fusion of jangly guitar and funky bass riffs ('Sigh the Day Away' is especially worthy of note) with sincere, often down-right depressing lyrical content is an art in itself. (Perhaps we should be alarmed that the Yanks are so good at doing it.)

Take the second track, 'They Wrote A Song About You' as an illustrative example: "They wrote a song about you and took care to leave all the sad bits out, so when I sang along I never believed you could get so down". Twisting the angst-knife further, the track goes on to dwell at length on the sense of hopeless entrapment that accompanies the banal. 'Lying Around' and 'A Name Sits Heaviest on My Heart' guarantee that love gained, love lost, is not a neglected as a theme, a Smiths prerequisite of course.

While this band is undeniably indebted to British forebears, you would be wrong to simply brand them plagiarizers. Magic Bullets clearly know how to write a decent song , eleven of them in fact, and their lyrics pack an occasionally depressive, frequently witty punch ('Not So Far Off'). This album is a complement to their influences, not simply an accomplished compliment.

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