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The Circle Is Round (HHBTM)

By • Nov 24th, 2019 • Category: Album review

For fans of the Atlanta-based alt-rock group Magnapop, their new studio album ‘The Circle Is Round’ has come as the result of a very long wait.

Linda Hopper and Ruthie Morris, the two consistent members of Magnapop who have remained as a songwriting duo since the band’s formation, have reunited to work once again and what they have created is something truly special.

It has been ten years since Magnapop’s last release, ‘Chase Park’, however the band cannot be accused of repeating the hiatus they took from 1999 to 2003 during the gap between this album and 2019’s ‘The Circle Is Round’. Although the did not release new music from 2009 to 2019, they continued to play live shows and embarked on a tour of Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK in 2016.

The album opens with the punchy, attention-grabbing ‘Dog on the Door’. The Ramones-esque music, primarily composed of repetitive guitar, bass and drums, is juxtaposed with Linda Hopper’s light and melodic vocals. This clash of soft versus hard has been present in several tracks that Magnapop have composed throughout their career and has been transferred smoothly onto this album, particularly in tracks such as ‘A Simple Plan’, ‘What Can I Do’ and ‘Rip The Wreck’.

Whilst these tracks remind us of the style of music that was popular in the late 1970s American punk rock scene, there are certain songs on the album that are comparable to post-punk of the 1980s and the grunge movement of the nineties. Tracks such as ‘Change Your Hair, ‘Need to Change’ and ‘Disabled’ portray a melange of pop, indie and grunge, whilst maintain a firm rock base which ensures that the album flows together successfully and does not become a confusing mishmash of genres.

Every single track on ‘The Circle Is Round’ is clean, sharp and very well-structured. It is quite incredible that Magnapop have been able to create an album that experiments with complimentary genres whilst staying true to the punk rock style that they are celebrated for. It is a fantastic album that the band should be exceptionally proud of. I would even go as far as to say, if you find yourself faced with somebody who argues that the spirit style and standard of punk rock is dead today, try handing them Magnapop’s ‘The Circle Is Round’, and I assure you that they will reconsider their argument.

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