Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Right Track: Magik Markers' "7/23"

Magik Markers, like Sunburned Hand of Man and Mouthus, are one of those bands that explores the crusty margins of 60s rock music, the music made by those bands who were too sloppy and/or trippy to break big. I'm talking about bands like Sweden's International Harvester and Germany's Guru Guru and LA's literal "cult" band Father Yod and Ya Ho Wa 13, groups who continue to find a small but obsessive audience all these years later because they, unlike Jefferson Airplane or the Grateful Dead, actually sound heavy and druggy and weird enough to be called psychedelic.

"7/23," off of Magik Markers' new album Balf Quarry, is the perfect marriage of this half-broken, hypnotic noise rock and a gorgeous melody. Almost every element of the song save for Elisa Ambrogio's singing is either clanging or atonal, but her vocal melody is so irresistible that it sounds like a pop song. At around the three minute mark, there's a guitar solo that strangles out the main melody, sounding almost like a parody of it, like the band can't help but make fun of themselves for writing such an easygoing and catchy melody.