The Magic Numbers are the current indie darlings in the music world. When people speak of The Magic Numbers, words like good aura, moving, dreamy, and melodic are often used.
What makes this band the new ‘buzz’ in the music industry? To the point where some well known music reviewers are proclaiming The Magic Numbers’ June/05 cd release as the best of 2005? This next statement was actually written somewhere in a magazine, and I apologize for the lack of source as the quote’s scribbled on a crumpled napkin - ’The Magic Numbers are... The Beach Boys (Pet Sounds-era) crossed with The Beatles crossed with Pavement crossed with a bright summer day...’
All this hype made sense when the band took the stage. Awards for good looks will not be presented to this lot, however, as soon as they opened their mouths, they went beyond beautiful. Such perfect harmonizing and beautiful melodies! My co-reviewer noted that The Magic Numbers were akin to a more melodic Flaming Lips.
The Magic Numbers are two sets of brother/sister. The group’s core originator is Trinidadian singer, Romeo, who met up with drummer Sean, in London. After the two of them decided they had an act, they invited Romeo's equally talented sister, Michele, to take on bass and vocals, while Sean's sister, Angela, was invited to take on percussion and vocals. Of all the vocals, Angela’s ethereal voice keeps the audience tense with anticipation. As soon as she steps into the spotlight and begins to sing, you can literally feel the exhalations of satisfaction from those around you.
Together, this group with its odd assortment of musical instruments and vocal arrangements, has a sound that transcends most acts out there. It has that undefined, intangible, forever sought, ‘it’ factor. The Magic Numbers have ‘it’, and it will be interesting to see how much further they take ‘it’ and subsequently, the listeners.
When the opening act The Parallels took the stage, my first impression was that the fashion of old ska/punk bands (Selector, Specials, Madness) was making a reappearance. With that in mind, I was semi-prepared for some opening ska beats.
What I received was a fabulous and frenetic Joe Strummer meets The Blasters. The Parallels’ set was a tangled, combustible grouping of instruments, movement and vocals. Herky jerky, loud, abrasive and fun. From their first note, The Parallels motivated the audience to move, sway, tap, and shake.
The Parallels are Mike Flintoff, Mike ‘Mick” McDiarmid, Tyler Mounteney and Jarrod O’Dell. Having been a ‘band’ with just a year under their belt, they can be assured that if they keep going in their present direction, they will soon be headlining. Their cd is entitled The Parallels - 1961 McLean.