Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ken's Top 10 of 2016 - #7: Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys - Come Black Magic

Come Black Magic is Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys' best album to date. In the few years since I've been following them, they've released an abundance of music, from soundtracks to plays, covers compilations, proper albums, etc., but Come Black Magic is their greatest sonic achievement. One of the obvious differences is the inclusion of Mary Widow as a full time member of the band. Since most of the Army of Broken Toys have fairly non-traditional voices, having a more traditional singer in their ranks really helps pull everything together with backing harmonies. Not to mention, every single song really feels like they are just going for it completely. Whether they're rallying against the patriarchy ("The Legend of Squid and Moon") or doing a Bjork cover ("Army of Me"), nothing is being done at anything but a level of full commitment. "Dull Boy," a musical tribute to The Shining that has been rattling around their live shows for a while now, finally gets a proper release on this album. "Come Black Magic" is their best song yet, and would have been a huge release if there was still such a thing as rock radio that would take a chance on an oddball song every so often. I can't wait to see what 2017 holds for Boston's finest purveyors of rock/punk/gypsy/burlesque/steamcrunk/folk/art.

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