I’ll admit, when the Magic Eight Ball record crossed my virtual desk, I was a little bit dismissive. For a start, whenever anything’s described as “power-pop”, I feel a bit queasy inside. The cover didn’t look as slick as the other records that’d passed through my inbox, all with big text logos and stock photography artwork. And I hadn’t checked out the video in the email, because I like to be surprised. It’s safe to say that upon hitting ‘play’, I was utterly and completely taken aback, because Sorry We’re Late, But We’re Worth The Wait is an absolute banger of a record.
The Surrey trio, who didn’t get around to putting this out for about six years after their inception, are highly accomplished musicians with a knack for killer harmonies and big rock ballads. Not that there isn’t plenty of stuff to make you want to dance, but it’s the ballad-esque epics that truly showcase just how great these guys are. Tracks like ‘Big Star’, ‘Before It Was Murder (You Got Me Talking)’ are massive tunes, with bouncy rhythms, big pop hooks and pure rock ‘n roll bravado. There’s lots of tongue-in-cheek moments, like in final track ‘Local Girls’, with its classical picking, violin, and lyrics about how it’s hard to find a decent girl in their town. But then there’s tracks like ‘Love Makes You Do Some Funny Things’ that are totally from the heart, and are guaranteed to put a huge grin on your face.
As much as I hate to say it, power-pop is the right way to put it; and Magic Eight Ball aren’t afraid to embrace that. The songs are fairly simple in structure, but this works in Magic Eight Ball’s favour, and the cheeky ‘ahh ahh!’s throughout are absolutely sublime. Lots of bands try to overcomplicate their output, but there’s a great virtue in taking a step back and just concentrating on putting out songs that are genuinely fantastic.
For those of you that are feeling a certain void since Bowling For Soup called it quits, this record is for you. It’s also for you if you like great harmonies, sweet guitar solos and vocals that could melt butter. Get in.
4 out of 5 high fives!