After shocking the world with their debut album, Up From Below, and blasting the airwaves with their hit single "Home" that brought hippies and folk music fans together in a rain dancing embrace, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are back with their second record, Here, and it shows great progress in the band's sound while collectively still being in its musical infancy. A great mix of psychedelia, 60's-style pop, acid-folk, gothic country and a vibe that makes you feel like these guys should have done the soundtrack for any one of the films associated with Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and The Ugly), Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have a unique sound that is so wide-ranging that even the biggest hipster music snob you know can appreciate it.
This orchestral mess of a band was started by vocalist, guitarist, percussionist and pianist Alex Ebert while he was the lead singer of another band called Ima Robot in Los Angeles. After a while of engaging in the party scene prevalent in "The City of Angels" and battling drug addiction, Ebert desired to make a change in his life. He started by breaking up with his girlfriend at the time, moving out of his house and admitting himself into a couple stints of rehab. He then decided to isolate himself from the world by living in an apartment that only had a inflatable mattress to sleep on and created his alter ego named Edward Sharpe. Sharpe is created as a messianic figure who is supposed to heal & save mankind but due to falling in love he always manages to get distracted. After meeting and engaging in a relationship with fellow singer Jade Castrinos, Ebert created Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and they've been gracing humanity with their beautiful music ever since.
"That's What's Up" is my favorite track off of the album, with Ebert and Castrinos singing about no matter what they'll be friends forever and they have their love to lean on along with having a few killer guitar solos. "Man on Fire" has an extraordinary Johnny Cash influence, a dark track that with Ebert on guitar and singing with everyone else joining in, making the song sound better and better with each progressing rhythm, chord and beat. "Fiya Wata" is completely epic, with Castrinos' beautiful voice resonating at the top of her lungs with the rest of the band playing some bluesy sounds that are soothing for the soul and easing for the mind. "One Love To Another" has a great latino rock feel to it, crossing through the styles of bands like Santana, Los Lobos while at the same time sounding like a long lost ballad written by Buddy Holly, definitely song that has roots. "I Don't Wanna Pray" sounds like a song you sing around a campfire, starting off with Ebert singing about God, how he makes everything thats good and bad and he doesn't want to pray to him because he feels like he'll be sacrificing his freedom. As I always state when I write this blog, don't take my opinion on a select few, get up off your ass after reading this, get the record and formulate your own thoughts.
Currently, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are in the middle of an epic tour that started at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on May 4th and will be ending at The Secret Garden Party in East Anglia, England on July 20th. Unfortunately for us fans in New England, these guys have already passed through Boston and made their presence felt at The Orpheum on May 12th so we'll just have to wait till next time. If you by chance are in Europe while reading this, go on to EdwardSharpeandTheMagneticZeros.com and check out the tour dates to see if they'll be hitting up your neighborhood anytime soon. Until they rock your local music venue to utter oblivion, grab a copy of the new album from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Here. It's a fantastic album for anyone who appreciates amazing music with a honest edge.
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