Album Review: Magneta Lane- Witchrock EP

Magneta Lane

Witchrock EP

ML_Album_2012_Cover_01a

Throughout history, regular women have been accused of witchcraft for not acting the way a lady should, for threatening society’s “natural order”. Seems appropriate then, that Magneta Lane has chosen the title Witchrock for their EP full of sexuality, independence, vengeance, and infidelity.
 
In a genre populated mostly by men, Magneta Lane stands apart by being entirely female run. Lexi Valentine, Nadia King, and French write their own songs, they sing, they play instruments, they rock. And if it weren’t unnerving enough to have a grouping of powerful females, they’ve gone and released four distinctly witchy songs. Let’s explore what behaviours might have actually gotten them sent to trial in the 1790s:
 
Adultery: ‘Leave the Light On’ admits it from the get-go, with “If I put my wandering eyes away and stay, would it ever really occur to you?”  The idea of a sexually empowered female who won’t settle for a lackluster relationship is undoubtedly positive. However, many see a straying woman as “fallen”, or in some eras, an evil seductress.
 
The Single Woman: How many movies can you think of that feature an outcast woman who lives alone on the outskirts of town, amongst rumours of her being a witch, a murderer, a child-eater? Probably lots. Small minds can’t comprehend the sort of strength and independence that ‘Good For’ demonstrates; preferring to be alone than with an unworthy lover.
 
Vengeance: What’s witchier than an angry woman with something to prove? ‘Burn’ starts the album off with a distinctly evil (and kind of on-the-nose) refrain “maybe if I let him burn, maybe if I watch him die”. ‘Lucky’, a spiteful ex-girlfriend tune, ends the album on a perfectly simplistic note “he’s only with you, because he can’t be with me.”
 
While Lexi Valentine’s dark, acerbic voice is still very much the band’s signature sound, years between albums has left a marked difference. Her range is broader, more powerful, matured. Noticeably present is the addition of backup vocals and harmonies to round things out. While comparable to fellow witch-rockers The Black Belles, Valentine has also taken on tones of 90s rock vixens Alanis Morissette, Shirley Manson, and Fiona Apple.
 
The upgrade in production value on Witchrock is thanks in part to Finger Eleven’s Rick Jackett and James Black. Having joined the creative process as friends, rather than a moneymaking scheme, they’ve helped Magneta Lane put out the album that they want. Turns out, it’s also what old fans, and prospective new ones will want to hear.
 

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About J2

What happens when you're a wordsy music aficionado who works for NXNE, CMW, HPX, Olio Music Festival, The JUNOs and Polaris Music Prize? You spend all of your free time blogging about it... Follow on Twitter if you're so inclined: @HearPlugged

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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