Bermuda, the latest album from Mrs. Magician, a band from San Diego comprised of five men including Jacob Turnbloom (vocals) and Thomas Garcia (guitar), is quite good.
The band reminds me of a combination of several of the bands I loved about a decade ago: Green Day, Weezer, Blink-182, Yellowcard, etc. — the list goes on. You can tell from their lyrics, the sound of their songs, and the artwork on each of their album covers that this is a punk band and that they have successfully branded themselves as such.
You can tell from the following glowing review that follows that I concur.
Mrs. Magician has conjured the magic of the aforementioned bands and created something unique and audibly very appealing. Their skill in instrumentalism is evident throughout the entire album and can, in my opinion, be glossed over for the purposes of this review. The lyricism of each song is fascinating and, in my opinion, deserves greater analysis in this review.
Mrs. Magician Blend Pop Punk with Surf
While you have seemingly upbeat or high-energy tunes throughout Bermuda, the lyrics of each song are depressing.
In “Reborn Boys,” they repeat the line, “I don’t ever feel anything anymore.” Similarly, in “Tear Drops” the singer laments, “Life sucks / Tough shit / Wanna get real / Get used to it.”
I also appreciated their equating superstition to the act of asking for forgiveness in “Forgiveness.” They write the song as though the only reason you would ask for forgiveness is because you’re afraid of the kismet ramifications if you don’t, rather than an internal desire to absolve yourself of some kind of wrongdoing.
In “Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” the singer repeats the line, “Just burn in hell.” It’s angsty and enjoyable. They do well to effectively mix the dark and upsetting lyrics with sounds that almost make you want to dance, or at least bob your head (which I always do — old habits die hard).
The only issue I had with the lyrics is that, while there are several gems in each song, Turnbloom often falls into a trap of repetition. Maybe it’s purposeful to drive a point home, or maybe it’s a result of the challenges of songwriting. Regardless, it could occasionally become too much. I would appreciate more instrumentation, more diverse lyrics, or something new and experimental than to hear the same line over and over again.
While other critics have focused on the underlying topics the album covers — relationships, ostracization, gentrification, addiction, conspiracy — I found the titles of the songs interesting, as well. There’s a focus on the eye, as evidenced by “Eyes All Over Town,” “Tear Drops,” and “No More Tears.” Perhaps the focus on eyes and the topics discussed throughout the album go hand in hand.
It’s difficult to be an observer, as any wallflower will tell you. And to give voice to such important issues as gentrification and addiction makes seeing it less challenging, because it’s taking action. The band may be upset that these things are happening and angry at the perpetrators, but at least they’re making themselves heard.
To conclude: I dig it. Listen to Bermuda for yourself.