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Pop Levi's campy rock a
welcome throwback

Pop Levi - The Return To Form Black Magick Party
(Counter Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2007
Pop Levi

Review by Tony Bonyata

I'm not exactly sure where this Pop Levi cat is from, but from the sounds of it my guess would be from the same planet that spawned the camped-up, raunchy glam rock of Ziggy Stardust or Marc Bolan's T. Rex in the early '70s. While Levi never reaches the hard rock bombast of either aforementioned legend on his full-length debut The Return To Form Black Magick Party, the twenty-something musician stylistically leans extremely heavy towards Marc Bolan at a time when he was morphing from cosmic hippie to captain of the good ship Glam.

While no song better illustrates Levi's fascination with Bolan than the sugary acoustic folk of "Skip Ghetto," which is also laced with a psychedelic backwards guitar (one that rears its spacey, corkscrew head throughout a good number of the songs here), there are other obvious nods, such as the heavy, rubbery riff that bounces from side to side on "Mournin' Light," as well as the chugging Brit-blues of "Hades' Lady" and the additional post-hippie folk number "Flirting."

The album does step out of the shadows of T. Rex, however, with the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am wallop of the opening rocker "Sugar Assault Me Now," as well as "Blue Honey," which, with its rudimentary guitar riff, flourishing day-glow leads and Levi's own piercing vocal delivery, is a welcome addition to this collection. "Pick-Me-Up Uppercut," with its robotic, electro bubblegum pop, is also an undeniable pleasure, and the stomp-and-swagger that spits attitude all over the churning rocker "Dollar Bill Rock" is guaranteed to get both your feet shuffling and mojo working.

Levi ends this eleven-track effort with the swirling balladry of "From The Day That You Were Born," where he once again summons the spirit of Bolan with an aching howl as the songs fades out. But despite this unmistakable comparison, The Return To Form Black Magick Party is nonetheless campy, colorful and full of charisma and is a welcome throwback to magic time in rock music.

Watch Pop Levi's - "Sugar Assault Me Now" video

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