Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
"Up From Below"

(Community Music/Fairfax Recordings 2009)Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros sound suspiciously similar to Devendra Banart. The band’s debut album, “Up From Below,” is full of thumping, pounding rhythms and folksy arrangements that mingle with falsetto vocals, rich melodies and a just about anything else you can think of. Considering that description, it may surprise you to know that Sharpe is the alter-ego of Alex Ebert, frontman for new wave/indie rockers Ima Robot. Add to that a dozen or so other musicians which make up The Magnetic Zeros and you have a recipe for success.

Opening track “40 Day Dream” answers that hard-hitting unasked question of what it might sound like to hear MGMT doing a “Magical Mystery Tour”-era take on The Beatles while the light, poppy sing-song melody of “Janglin” is one made for getting stuck in your head. Ebert and band member Jade Castrinos duet on the heartwarmingly country song “Home” while Ebert takes the spotlight to croon on “Carries On” as the ballad evolves with a quicker rhythm and a fuller sound. But where some tracks are somewhat silly, on “Desert Song” Sharpe and company create a musical landscape that is evoking and haunting.

Fans of Banhart and his ilk will undoubtedly find Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Up From Below” to be right up their alley. The band’s debut album travels over quite a bit of musical ground but the songs always remains loosely woven together. While “Up From Below” could be considered easy to dismiss at certain points on the album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have substance to back themselves up.

A-

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