Tulip Frenzy’s #8 Best Album of 2012 Is The Magic Castle’s Eponymous Debut

We’d never heard the Magic Castles before they opened for The Brian Jonestown Massacre in August, though the fact that Anton Newcombe had taken them under this wing was of course a good sign.  But wow!  Their first album had all the magic they built on stage, and then some.

It was a rhetorical question when we asked “Are the Magic Castles the best young band in America?”  For with references such as what follows from our review at the time, of course the answer was yes.  “Imagine John Densmore drumming while Dean Wareham and Sterling Morrison back up Neil Young.  We’d read the reference to them in last week’s issue of The New Yorker, capsule-previewing their opening for the BJM with that shorthand citation: a comparison to the Velvet Underground.  As some know, Tulip Frenzy has an office policy, rigidly enforced from the senior staff on down to the interns, to be curious about any band that is referenced in the same sentence as the VU, either as in, “They sound like the Velvet Underground,” or, “They sound nothing like the Velvet Underground.”  We don’t much care which way it goes; any such reference is worthy of our checking it out.  Only, when we saw them play last night, we didn’t think of the VU so much as First Communion Afterparty, the Doors, Luna, Kurt Vile, Fripp and Eno, or maybe it’s Cluster and Eno — all of them great character references.”

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