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MUSIC REVIEW: Blues Magoos modernize their mind-bending garage rock sound with ‘Psychedelic Resurrection’

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN 
bbingaman@thereporteronline.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

Blues Magoos had a top 5 hit in 1967 as a reference point. And just for the fun of it, they picked it up again and ran with it.
Reintroducing themselves to an unsuspecting public, they re-recorded their Summer of Love harbinger “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet” for an out-of-left-field new album called “Psychedelic Resurrection.”
“So many years have passed/but now we’re back and on this journey,” goes a line from the album’s title track. In fact, it’s the band’s first new recording since 1970. Guitarist Mike Ciliberto and bassist Peter Stuart Kohman have joined the group’s partly-reunited “Psychedelic Lollipop” lineup from the ‘60s — frontman/keyboardist Ralph Scala, singer/guitarist Peppy Castro and drummer Geoff Daking. Original bassist Ronnie Gilbert and lead guitarist Mike Esposito play on “Psychedelic Resurrection” as well.
From the sound of things, they’ve updated their equipment, polished the sound and have returned to rock out loud, dropping in echo effects and swirling and stacked vocal harmonies. “There’s a Chance We Can Make It” brings a muscular, crunchy guitar sound, coupled with a melody that sounds like it came from a Cream record.


On the other hand, there’s always that one foot in the past. “In 1967, lava lamps were all of the rage. They were eight feet high, three feet wide/standing on the edge of the stage,” go the opening lines of “Psyche-delight.”
Making an encore appearance from the very-first Blues Magoos album is the other song they’re known for, a rave-up jam cover of the garage rock tune “Tobacco Road.” Also hearkening back to classic sing-along garage rock, like The Kingsmen, The Troggs and The Standells, is “I Just Got Off From Work,” with which they clumsily rhyme “the boss’s a freakin’ jerk.”
Carrying over a warped sense of humor that occasionally showed on their old records, the gross-out “D’Stinko Me Tummies on the Blinko” is a somewhat amusing reminder that musical psychedelic trips can come with a hangover. On its way to ferociously spinning into another dimension, “Rush Hour” (which quotes the “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet” riff at the beginning) brings the album’s OMG-LOL moment sung to the tune of the “Peter Gunne” theme.
Why new Blues Magoos music now? “Life’s no fun if you don’t take a chance,” they sing on the Kinks-influenced song “I’m Still Playing.”

UPCOMING CONCERT

What: The Blue Magoos
Where: Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville.
When: Concert is at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25, $39.50
Info.: Call (215) 257-5808 or check www.st94.com. For more on the band, check thebluesmagoos.com.

 

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