Friday, May 06, 2011

Coogan's Bluff - Magic Bubbles

Coogan’s Bluff
Magic Bubbles
World in Sound

Coogan’s Bluff can’t decide if it wants to ride the stoner groove all the way into some hippie chick’s hot pants, or rock the fuck out until its collective hair whips into the ceiling fan. So the German quartet does the smart thing on Magic Bubble: both at once. Augmented by electric piano and a horn section, CB knocks out riff-fondling chooglers like What’s Left, Marshall Law and Hang ‘em High, careening between 70s signposts like the burly boogiegrunge of Miami Beach Tonight and the blasting punk rock of What’s the Deal along the way. But just when you have the band pegged, it veers off into the bizarrely jazzy psych rock of Boogie, and the title track, and does so with surprising grace. The group also takes time to punch its hip card with a cover of Mick Ralph’s Ready For Love – not the Bad Company version, but the original Mott the Hoople take that includes the coda After Lights. Really, though, it’s the band’s ability to write vintage-but-timeless originals that makes Magic Bubbles a helluva rock & roll record, instead of a mere exercise in 70s nostalgia.

- Michael Toland

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