It’s 2017, I’m rapidly approaching five decades on this planet, and I’m glad to say that many new bands are willing to set sail across the seas of Rock aboard the good ship retro, and Magnet, helmed by Psychedelic Witchcraft’s Riccardo Giuffrè who has swapped four strings for six and added lead vocals to his normal duties, is unashamedly one of them. With that heritage, it no surprise to find the album harks back to an age when computers were not king, and cutting a recording did involved scissors and magnetic tape.
Opening track ‘Buried Alive With Thee’ sets the tone for the album, a clean uncomplicated sound, the rhythm section pounding out the beats to carry aloft the bluesy guitars and riffs, the vocals being equally clean and enthusiastic with stabs of Hammond like keys adding to the texture of the music; it really is a number to have feet tapping and flowery shirts flapping. ‘Ouroborus’ continues in the same vein, but with a more laid back feel, vocals becoming as wistful as the slower delivery, the middle section having a timeless pastoral feeling, only enhanced by the delicate solo. Whilst the album undoubtedly owes a lot of its sound to early seventies rock, it shares far more with the lighter, more jangly guitar sound reminiscent of Captain Beyond, rather than the darker sustained tones of Tony Iommi. ‘Light’ ups the tempo, sounding like a direct hippified descendent of the electrified White Boy Blues of the late Sixties underground sound, a movement that progressed with experimentation, both musical and chemical, from The Yardbirds into the likes of Cream and beyond, Magnet sounding like they could have been the missing evolutionary link between those bands.
The album continues to deliver solid track after solid track: ‘Little Moon’ has a greater length, allowing it to explore a more free-form sound; ‘Drive Me Crazy’ has a cocksure swagger; and on title track ‘Feel Your Fire’ the band open up the throttle for a bit more rock; whilst closing the album is ‘Magnet Caravan’ an obvious and reverential nod to Black Sabbath’s own ‘Planet Caravan.’ Hell, if you’re going to pay tribute to your musical ancestors, why not honour one of the greats?. Each track is confident and workman like, showing a cohesion and tightness that is doubly commendable considering it is the first album for Magnet, a band that is itself not yet a year old,
Nothing is too heavy, so whilst those who insist on an audio diet of all things grim might not find much satisfaction, there is plenty for the less extremely inclined, your humble scribe included, to enjoy. The market for all things inspired by the early hard rock and proto-metal sounds has yet to hit saturation point, and with the likes of Graveyard sadly calling a halt to their career, there is always room for a band that can deliver a retro sound live. For a first effort, ‘Feel Your Fire’ shows that Magnet has the potential to become a force to be reckoned with in the genre.