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The Night Marchers: See You In Magic

B+

The Night Marchers

Album: See You In Magic
Label: Swami/Vagrant

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John "Speedo" Reis is, without a doubt, one of underground music's finest showmen, and it could also be argued that he's the most underappreciated frontman from the alt-rock '90s. Not to dismiss his work with Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Sultans, etc., but Reis always seemed to put his best foot forward with Rocket From The Crypt, and he's injected The Night Marchers with a similarly ecstatic mix of ferocious garage-rock and populist pop. As always, this stuff is better suited for the stage, and it would be foolish not to assume that horns could make The Night Marchers even better, but with the assistance of a band that includes a couple of fellow ex-Snakes, Reis has made his best record since Rocket's Scream, Dracula, Scream! heyday. Simple certainly doesn't equal thin on See You In Magic, a 47-minute blitzkrieg bop that balances punky stompers with perfectly subdued moments like "Panther In Crime" and "We're Goin' Down." The latter even finds Reis' rough croon somehow making Armageddon sound truly wonderful.