Magnapop – Hot Boxing

ARTIST: Magnapop 220px-Magnapop_-_Hot_Boxing
TITLE: Hot Boxing
SINGLES: Slowly, Slowly (#25 Modern Rock); Lay It Down
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Texas was a video
LINEUP: Linda Hopper, Ruthie Morris, Shannon Mulvaney, David McNair
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A much improved, much cleaner second album that allowed them to gain notice in the alternative rock world.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Magnapop was an improved band, with better songs and better production, thanks to Bob Mould, for this release. It now was hard to pin them down into a genre, since they definitely were alternative, but not that outre, and they had power pop elements but not the traditional jangle with layered harmonies. They were a good band that released a good album.

“Lay It Down” is the key track for me, with layered tangled guitars of Morris working well with some layered split vocals from Hopper and a rhythm section driving forward. “Here It Comes” is another killer track that showcases the economical guitars of Morris with Hopper’s understated vocals. Most of the songs are well worth it, though.

One drawback is that thanks to the 90’s being an era where you didn’t throw tracks away and cram everything on a disc, it seems a bit too long. A couple of songs could have been pruned off, not because they’re worse than the others but that the record just seems a bit too long at the end.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Europe, especially the festival crowd in Germany, France and the Low Countries gave them a lot of love and they broke through over there first before hitting the alternative charts in the US.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: One with an acoustic version of an old song and a B-side.

GRADE: B+: Good with some great tracks. I think it’s too long but I can’t pinpoint what tracks to get rid of.

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