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The Nightmarchers- See you in Magic (Album Review)

John Reis (aka Speedo) delivers exactly what you expect on every album that bears his name. Pure, hard, fun, and nasty rock & roll action. Rocket from the Crypt? Check. Drive Like Jehu? Check. The Sultans? Check. Hot Snakes? Yep. New band the Night Marchers? You’d better believe it. Teaming up with former Hot Snakes Gar Wood and Jason Kourkounis, and Tommy Kitsos of CPC Gangbangs, Reis delivers an album of rampaging hard rock that kicks hard and sticks with you like a monster hangover. The sound of See You in Magic is probably closest to that of the Sultans. The two bands share a light and nimble approach that RFTC lacked. They were a knockout blow; the Night Marchers are more likely to jab you in the solar plexus. Either way, by the end of the album you know you’ve been in a fight. The guitars are taut and fierce, the drums pounding but not overbearing, and the occasional shouted backing vocals mix well with Reis’ powerful everyman vocal delivery. Reis’ skill at crafting songs with hooky choruses has never deserted him and is strong as ever here. “Bad Bloods,” “I Wanna Deadbeat You,” and the insanely great and almost funky “Whose Lady R U?” all stand with the catchiest, most memorable RFTC songs. Elsewhere, the bandmembers charge through doomy (“And I Keep Holding On”), loose-limbed (“Total Bloodbath”), and storming (“Closed for Inventory”) rockers like they were playing for their lives. Among all the noise and carnage, the quartet shows a rare moment of subtlety on the restrained and almost relaxed “You’ve Got Nerve,” which winningly takes a page from the Spoon playbook of “less is more.” That philosophy is pretty alien to a Reis-fronted band and it speaks to the power of the Night Marchers that they can pull it off so well. They also do a fine job on the very poppy Spector-lite ballad “Panther in Crime.” Add the Night Marchers to Speedo’s roll of triumphs and feel free to rank See You in Magic as one of his finest moments. It’s really that good.