Local Wire

Magic Bullets

Magic Bullets' bouncy New Wave pop (often sung with an affected British accent) sounds like a lot like Echo & the Bunnymen, but this San Francisco sextet puts its own spin on things. For example, the song "Spent Nights," from the group's 2006 debut, a CHILD but in life yet a DOCTOR in love, contains a bass line worthy of a funk remix, and the song "Red Room" (from Magic Bullets' 2008 disc, Young Man's Fancy) boasts some catchy guitar chords that echo the beginning of Ben E. King's hit "Spanish Harlem." But make no mistake — for all the twists in their tunes here and there, Magic Bullets is a neo-retro buzz band of the same ilk as Hot Hot Heat and The Killers. And like the aforementioned bands, Magic Bullets was heavily influenced by the likes of The Cure, Teardrop Explodes, and Joy Division. Lacking big studio budgets and synthesizers, Magic Bullets tends to sound more stripped-down, but fans of New Wave and early alt-pop pioneers like Elvis Costello can appreciate a return to basics.