The Mag Seven To Release New Instrumental Album

posted September 24, 2009

The Mag Seven To Release New Instrumental Album

Texas musical gun slingers The Mag Seven ready the release of their fifth album, "Cotton Needle Sessions" on October 6th through label End Sounds. The Mag Seven are "instrumentalists for hire," combining their musical influences of Black Flag and the Descendents to John Coltrane and Ennio Marricone, The Ventures, and Stravinsky, they have managed to produce a sound of their own that includes everything from punk-surf and spaghetti western themes to jazz.

"I want people to enjoy it for what it is and listen to it from start to finish (as was intended). The songs and sequence work together like the soundtrack for a date," explains guitarist and songwriter, Brandon Landelius. "It starts out slow and suggestive and slowly builds tension and finally ends know what...probably in a car somewhere..."

With the album starting off as mainly a jazz collection, with a bit of a surf bend to it, Landelius wanted to do something different with their fifth album. He enlisted the help of close friend, Bill Stevenson, to play drums. Stevenson brought in all of the key elements of a stellar percussionist. Bassist Donivan Blair's playing is also a departure from familiar territory.

One track that illustrates this is the lead track "Lahaina," which if you can tell by the name is a musical journey that takes you through the scenic beauty of Hawaii. "A1A" too brings to mind surreal beaches, but across the US to the coasts of Florida.

Landelius explains, "I came up with the chord progression for "A1A" one night while driving down A1A (Fort Lauderdale) almost 10 years ago. I didn't finish writing the song until we were in the studio this February, but I have a serious weak spot for the ocean and that particular drive was always one of my favorites when I lived in Florida."

The Mag Seven's origins reach back to 1998, in Dallas, TX with bassist Donivan Blair, Dan Phillips (Slowride, True Widow) and Scott Brayfield (Slowride) on drums. The original line-up recorded two full-length CDs: "Eighth Round Knock Out" and "Use Your Powers For Good, Not Evil." After a few years together the band went through a change with Phillips' departure, and added guitarist, Brandon Landelius. They played shows regionally and wrote new material until, Landelius relocated. During the downtime that came with the loss of another member, Blair kept moving forward musically, playing as part of the groups Armstrong and Only Crime. In late 2005, the decision was made to put The Mag Seven back together, and after enlisting the help of his Only Crime band mates, Bill Stevenson and Zach Blair, the band released, "The Future Is Ours If You Can Count" (2006) through Austin label, End Sounds. Soon after, Landelius returned to Texas, where he and Blair started preparing new material for their next release - "Knife To A Gunfight" (End Sounds 2008) featuring the band's original drummer, Scott Brayfield.

While writing the songs for "Cotton Needle Sessions," Landelius was heavily influenced by artists as varied as Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, and Alicia Keys, and wanted to write instrumentals for Knife to a Gunfight that would project a very different sound, while keeping to the heart of the instrumentation and arrangements that inspired them. In the end, The Mag Seven has given the whole project a unique sound all its own and yet far different from any previous album before it. "Cotton Needle Sessions" exceeds their expectations and they await the feedback to come.

The Mag Seven is currently based out of Amarillo, Texas and is made up of bassist Donivan Blair, drummer John Lerma (The Humans, Tennessee Tuckness, BSATBAAGB) and guitarist Brandon Landelius.

"Cotton Needle Sessions" Track Listing:

  1. Lahaina
  2. Does This Rag Smell Like Chloroform?
  3. A1A
  4. Rise Of The Levis
  5. Trim
  6. Sailor Jerry's Requiem
  7. Ether Cheeks
  8. You Don't Hire Evel Knievel To Ride A Tricycle
  9. Deacon Browns
  10. Panty Dropper