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Scott 4 and Magic Car | European Punks LP (Tiny Dog)
With a supporting cast of fourteen musicians, the relatively thin on the ground Scott 4 (who number only 2) and the slightly more fully formed Magic Car (an impressive 4) collaborate on this genre-shunning collection, borne of a proposed EP and expanded courtesy of reworked tracks from Magic Car's 'Yellow Main Sequence' album and a trio of Scott 4 cuts. The album hits the mark most convincingly when the voices of Scott Blixen and Hazel Atkinson sit side by side, as on the lengthy opener, title track European Punks and it's more traditional cousin Stillness with which it shares lyrics. Pristine production and immaculately judged arrangements can't, however, hide the fact that the album is thin on ideas and lacks more than three or four cast-iron songs. Half the record is instrumental and the vocal tracks have a tendency to hit their stride and repeat to fade over superfluous minutes of redundant repetition. Given the talent available it's baffling that more time wasn't spent on the lyrical and vocal aspects of the record, Blixen's abundant sleeve notes perhaps eating into more recording time than was necessary. A stylish, smooth and spotless curiosity then, in need of some punk dissidence, less Euro-cool.
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002