Essex’s finest release this the ‘OneEightSixNineNine’ Demo E.P.
Off the back of being officially stated Essex’s best unsigned band, and following a run of glorious gigs, Magic Joe release this demo E.P. presenting us all with not only something to think about, but something to smile about as well.
Opening this seemingly diverse three tracked demo, is title track ‘OneEightSixNineNine’ The tone of the demo is set right from the onset, with confusion and variety thrown straight at you. Vocally this song may be slightly weaker than the rest, but it still presents a certain element of rawness to the demo. Striking piano riffs and meandering guitar work are present throughout and complimented by a driving bass line and subtle drum rhythms. Certainly a more than adequate opener.
‘You’ve got me’ faster in tempo and seemingly more up beat, this is a track bursting with life and live ambience. The vocals are harsher in tone and present this rushed almost snatching feel throughout the verses. This is later challenged by the more flowing tone that the ambiguous chorus has to offer. The stand-out feature for this track though, has to be the almost funk driven bass mid-section, that collaborates and builds with the surrounding instrumental settings produced by a range or percussion and guitar sounds.
‘Just For You’ is possibly my favourite track off of the demo. A genuine emotive, yet equally soothing little number, that really represents Magic Joe as a live band. With lyrics that sonically sound nice, and a wavering tempo this track grabs you in its gentle embrace, soothing the listener and presenting them with yet another more temperate area of this multi-faceted demo. The vocals are more intimate throughout yet softer in tone and set-up, a seamless way to round off a demo such as this.
Episodes of live performances are captured throughout; ambience, emotion and intimacy are all carefully laid down and generously laced from track to track, start to finish. One impressive feature of this demo above all else is this element of clarity. An air of tightness often sadly lacking from many a demo is presented throughout. The only real point of contention would be that to a certain extent, the demo still fails to capture that certain something we all know they can reproduce live. Progression had been made since the recording of the demo, with live performances offering a lot more, but that aside what this demo represents is promise not to mention a wealth of potential. It is a starting point, something to be built upon. And even though in true demo style, the sound quality may not be polished, the songs certainly are!
6Vic Bird's Score