Magic Arrows - "Sweet Heavenly Angel of Death"
(Wobblyhead 2005, WBL-017)
From Aural Innovations #33 (March 2006)
Magic Arrows is Scott Beschta (ex-Pele and Promise Ring) and SB is one mean music-makin' mofo. I first heard his work on a Little Darla comp. (the sublime "She's a Light/Iowa"). This long-player is generally full of darker moods but no less beautifully spaced and droney. The sounds are grittily-textured and noisy-vinyl-addled, giving it a purposefully lo-fi edge - throw in mean trip-hopped beats, ambient cosmic krautrockish keys, treated guitar/bass drones and Scott takes you places.
"Uptown Devils" is a nice opener, with beat and looped choral chants, blending into the sinister "Judes Theme" - spacious rhythmic drones, slinky bass-line, warped violin effects and the nasty, almost distortion-overloaded trip-beat which changes up between a clean groove and more stuttered. Excellent. "Buffalo Gals" opens with heavy rhythm and "OOF!"s before settling into chilled-out electric-piano lines that augment the groove. "Stand By Me" is the only tune with a standard vocal, a (possibly mocking) christian folk-gospel eventually inundated by a lovely cosmic guitar-fx riff. "Nervous" is hazy ambience of various descending guitar loops, delays and underlying bass-pulse. "Buzz" has some kinda limp '70s-styled lite-fusion "bah-dah-duh" chant that gradually becomes morphed and segued into similarly-tuned trumpets. "Sinister" is the word again for the incessant techno-beats, cosmic-symphonic drones, various horror-fx, tronics and loops of "One Thousand Dances", mid-way disrupted by a nuclear explosion which changes up the beat again... and then again... Wonderful. "Keef" closes with more trippy wavering space-sick ambience. All-around Righteous, Bad-Ass and Masterful. Cheers.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg