STA is now Ten Years Old

Rock Sound Chat To Dan From 4 Or 5 Magicians

The golden age of American indie-rock with topical, British lyrics

Sounds like: the golden age of American indie-rock - Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, REM - with topical, British lyrics.

"I am not a musician, I am a songwriter", says Dan Ormsby, creative genius behind Brighton band 4 Or 5 Magicians. "I'm not a very good guitarist or drummer so I don't feel I need to express myself in terms of musical proficiency, mainly because I can't! Instead I put everything into the song construction, and the lyrics."

It's little wonder, therefore, that the heart of this fantastic album can be found in the words on their debut album Empty, Derivative Pop Songs. And what's there? Fierce intelligence, a good sense of humour and massive dollops of irony.

"I'm wasting my time in a band, pinning all my hopes upon getting signed", Dan sings on album highlight "Forever On The Edge". "Well it could happen, some idiot might sign us / Well, I want them to but they won't - we don't sound like anyone else around at the moment". The album's title, meanwhile, is taken from album track "Change The Record".

"It's obviously ironic but there is an element of truth to it, in that all the songs have catchy hooks, and the structuring is pretty straightforward," says Ormsby.

These poppy shapes and sounds are lifted from their heroes - including Guided By Voices, Pavement and Dinosaur Jr - and were mostly recorded on the cheap in a rehearsal room, which gives it homemade warmth.

"I don't think we could have made this any better paying megabucks for a proper studio", Dan says. "It's all worked out rather well the way we have done it"

Download This: Nice Little Earner

- Mike Haydock, Rock Sound

Full press article