The Magnificents

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 13 Jul


The Magnificents were always ahead of the game. Formed seven years ago at Edinburgh Art College, the eccentric but brilliant foursome set about assaulting audiences with a relentless, high-octane blend of post-punk and new wave, at a time when no one else was making a racket like it.

Now, with the charts full of inferior new new wavers, the time is surely right for The Magnificents’, well, magnificent second album, Year of Explorers. Sounding like a demented, booze-addled cousin of Interpol or The Rapture, Year of Explorers could catapult the band into the big league, but its making was not without trouble.

‘It was a fucking nightmare,’ says guitarist Drew McFadyen. ‘We had all sorts of problems with producers. It was frustrating; we were stuck for months when we couldn’t do anything, I felt like boiling my head. It should be called Two and a Half Years of Explorers. But we got there in the end and it was definitely worth it.’

It was indeed. Sharing the manic energy of the band’s eponymous album and early EPs, it nevertheless sees them expanding their sound to create a more diverse musical springboard to launch themselves from. It sounds like a more considered process than before?

‘I don’t know about considered,’ laughs McFadyen. ‘We just make it up as we go along, really. It is diverse, though. We’re four very different people with different tastes in music, so the direction we go in at any point just depends on who’s most in the mood for fighting at the time.’

(Doug Johnstone)

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