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Magic Mushroom Band: Live '89

Formed in the early 80's, the U.K. based Magic Mushroom Band specialized in creating their own brand of psychedelic pop, releasing a total of nine albums before going on an indefinite hiatus in 1994. While various band members have since surfaced in the more ambient sounds of Astralasia, Voiceprint Music has issued this archive concert which dates back to the bands peak period in 1989.

Live '89 has somewhat of a dual personality because the first and second half of this show is almost like night and day, it's almost as if the listener is experiencing two different bands. The first five songs which are performed entirely on acoustic guitars are unfortunately down right cheesy and bogged down by one incredibly lame vocal performance after another, not to mention ill advised covers of Zappa's "What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body" and The Young Rascals' "Good Loving". The audience reaction between songs is virtually non existent, probably because they were asleep. At the conclusion of "Good Loving" founding member Gary Masters bids the crowd 'Good night', which is kind of odd, but then a transformation of sorts begins with the first sounds of the next song "The Octave of Obsideon". A relatively straight ahead drum beat emerges and suddenly the track is awash in a delightful haze of psychedelic wah-wah drenched guitar and a myriad of spacey keyboard effects. While the vocals remain on the weak side, compared to the acoustic ramblings of the first five tracks, this nine minute workout is a considerable improvement. "Living In A Dream" continues where "The Octave of Obsideon" left off, highlighting more of Masters' adventurous guitar work. The band also turns in an impressive re-working of the George Harrison penned Sgt. Pepper track "Within You", which takes the song in a completely different direction. "Turban Paranoia" is another explosion of pure psychedelia that sounds like the perfect union of early Stooges meets Hawkwind, while vocalist Kim Masters (Gary's wife), turns in an absolutely orgasmic performance to rival the full on blitz of trippy synthesizers on their swirling adaptation of the Hendrix cover "Are You Experienced".

I think Live '89 in the end could have been a lot stronger had they chosen to omit the first five tracks which are nothing more than throwaways. That being said, Magic Mushroom band may be gone but Live '89 will certainly still take listeners on a trip back in time to their psych heyday.

Track Listing
1) Burning Like The Sun
2) What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body
3) Bottom Of The Bucket Blues
4) Rhythm and Rhyme
5) Good Loving
6) The Octave of Obsideon
7) Living In A Dream
8) Within You
9) Turban Paranoia
10) Are You Experienced
11) Love Resurrection

Added: June 8th 2008
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Voiceprint Music
Hits: 1845
Language: english

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