Three years after dissolving Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes nearly simultaneously, John "Speedo" Reis is back in the fold with a formidable new San Diego-based quartet called The Night Marchers. On the band's debut CD, See You in Magic (released this week on Vagrant Records), Reis — collaborating again with former Hot Snakes guitarist Gar Wood and bassist Jason Kourkounis — has softened the hard-rock crunch of RFTC and smoothed the art-punk angles of Hot Snakes, while still giving fans of both bands plenty of reminders of why they loved them. Despite the abundance of great riffs, The Night Marchers bust out as Reis' most melody-driven and accessible project in his two-decade career in punk rock. It's certainly his most funky. Reis successfully evokes classic Bo Diddley on "Branded" and "Open Your Eyes" and Black Gladiator-era Bo on "Who's Lady R U?" From Pitchfork to Drive Like Jehu to RFTC to Sultans to Hot Snakes to The Night Marchers, Speedo continues to be one of the most dependable brands in underground rock.
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