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16 Nov 2016

Magi “Win Or Lose” 197 US Private Hard Rock











Magi “Win Or Lose” 197 US Private Hard Rock  Only 1,000 copies pressed original
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This north Indiana outfit ruled the roost in the “Michiana” region in the mid-’70s, attracting huge crowds whenever they played live. Often compared with Led Zeppelin, this 5-piece outfit rocked the area with a tight and raw sound that combined in-your-face hard rock with undisguised psychedelic tendencies and lashings of fuzz. 

It must be said the boys didn’t do themselves any favours by issuing their only known album with a cover reminiscent of a Journey photo shoot, but regardless of their dubious hair and sense of dress, Magi certainly deserved more than the obscurity into which they ultimately lapsed. 

Win Or Lose, recorded at Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine studios in Michigan in 1976, and which boasts a series of solid songs propelled by a tight rhythm section and some more-than respectable vocals, is always reviewed enthusiastically: “superb heavy rock fuzz spectacular with some psych feel” “ rare Led Zep-like masterpiece of killer rock ” “hard ro c k i n ’ with a psych edge that makes it totally unique” In another place or time this band could have been huge. 

As it is, we only have this one incredibly rare album to judge them by, but based on the evidence, Magi definitely receives an unqualified thumbs-up. About a decade later Tom Stevens became one of the Paisley Underground’s most active musicians, forming the Long Ryders and been a part of Danny and Dusty’s outfit….. 

A self-released effort, Win Or Lose originally saw the light of day in 1976. Recorded at Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine Studios in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the disc stands as Magi’s one and only album. A couple of years after Win Or Lose was issued, the band relocated to Los Angeles. But not much happened there, so they soon called it quits. 

Sometimes you can judge a band by the way they look, and in this case such an adage sits right on the money. A photo of Magi graces the cover of Win Or Lose, which captures them in total rock star mode. The hair is long and flowing, while the threads range from a leopard print top to a leather jacket to a flowery shirt to puka shells to a scarf wrapped around the neck. Facial hair is also present. 

Resembling a cross between Foghat and Aerosmith, with a touch of Steppenwolf hurled into the soup for good measure, the band’s music certainly corresponds with their image. 

Crammed tight with crunching odes to sex, drugs and rock and roll, Win Or Lose (reissued in 2005 by Radioactive Records) bristles with untamed energy. The material may be riff-oriented, but there’s still stashes of catchy hooks and melodies to be savored. Combining sassy snarls with arena rock extravaganza, the vocals are perfect for the hot and sweaty songs Magi performs. Punchy jams, laced with slaving rhythms and arresting breaks additionally personify the band’s tunes. 
Select gems on Win Or Lose include the title track, “Fryin’ Away Time,” “Undecided Man” and “I Didn’t Ask You.” For a brief change of pace, there’s the moody “Snow Bound,” which reveals the band to be quite competent at handling softer numbers. 

Awash with prototype hard rock action, Win Or Lose sticks fast to the basics. Nothing fancy is going on here. The delivery is straight-forward, powerful and charmingly naïve to a point. A cool artifact, Win Or Lose is a must have for fans of the genre, especially of the old-school stripe……… 

Magi 
*Tom Stevens - Bass, Vocals 
*Steve Vanlaningham - Guitar 
*Larry Stutzman - Guitar, Vocals 
*Jerry Wiggins - Drums 
*John Gaut - Vocals 

A1 Win Or Lose
A2 Undecided Man
A3 I Didn’t Ask You
A4 Steve’s Jam
B1 Fryin’ Away Time
B2 Snow Bound
B3 Runnin’ Low
B4 Everytime I’m With You 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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