I’ll bet most reviews of this album will call it “schizophrenic” or use the term “genre-hopping.” Heck, you might even be able to convince those “musician” friends of yours who think Mike Patton and Zappa are genii that this is good stuff. (If they make it past the piercing feedback in the song “Masters of Science Fiction”) But it just wouldn’t be right to compare Lazy Magnet to Mr. Bungle or Naked City or other genre-hopping type musical show-offs. Those bands are largely all about saying “Hey, hey, did you know we can play death metal! Oh, hey, we can play swing too! We can play Zydeco!” Give this album a couple of listens and you’ll realize that songwriting came first for Jeremy Harris, Lazy Magnet mastermind, and then he simply tried to make every part of every song sound as great as it could.
Lazy Magnet is largely Jeremy’s solo project, who lives and makes music in Providence, RI, though here he is joined by no less than 16 guest musicians who add violins, flutes, piano, voices, trumpets, etc. So we do get a wide range of musical influences that show up here, including but not limited to: punk, noise, country, prog metal, ye-ye, folk. But there’s an underlying style that holds it all together. This is closer in spirit and sound to albums by the Melvins or even Ween than the above-mentioned groups.
Time was, an album like this would make a guy reasonably famous. I have no idea if we still live in a time like that but hopefully this at least puts Lazy Magnet on the map within the underground/weirdness scene. The full title of this album is: “He Sought For That Magic By Which All The Glory And Mystic Chivalry Were Made To Shine – or – Is Music Even Good?” I’m convinced that the first title-sentence is literally true of this album, and in so doing Lazy Magnet has proven that music IS actually still good.
By the way, the CD includes a live bonus track with a chorus of “Fighting to survive, when it’s cold outside.” I have visited the land of heating-free Providence factory-dwellers during a very cold time of year, and I can tell you that this statement is also quite literally true. So, you know, buy a copy and help a brother out. Vinyl version comes out in July I hear.