United Magnetics
"Reinventing the Fifth Wheel"

(Bad Stain Records 2000)United Magnetics - Reinventing the Fifth Wheel

The debut album from United Magnetics, "Reinventing the Fifth Wheel," is a punkish rock album in several senses -- the entire album of ten tracks is only 27 minutes; the lyrics (like "But I think someone's missed a deeper irony engendered in that clever campaign / Egregious misconduct concealed beneath layers of cover-ups and self-serving claims" from "The Best-Dressed Gang In The World") are aware (and a mouthful!) but not overly preachy; the singer, Davis, doesn't have the perfect voice but what he puts out compliments the music and lyrics nicely when not appearing to be pushed to the background by the speeding guitars and drums which demand the attention.

Songs like "1 800 DIVORCE" and "The Supersymmetrical Theory" (the latter of which is strangely reminiscent of the previous) use occasional changes in rhythms and tempo during verses. Other songs like "Greenpeace Has Got The Bomb" and "The Best-Dressed Gang In The World," which are both in the first half of the album, are catchy songs that stand out from the other 10 tracks. Part of the reason those songs stand out might be because the other 8 tracks all sound similar; guitar intros are often rather close and you almost expect "Fall of Ninety-Three" to be a reprise.

With that said, "Reinventing the Fifth Wheel" is a nice way for United Magnetics to start their catalog. The guitars and drums are relentless and driving through the entire 27 minutes and you'll walk away with "Greenpeace has got the bomb" playing over and over in your head.

B

buy it!