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Champions Of Magic

Rate It! Avg: 3.5 (30 ratings)

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Champions Of Magic  album cover
01
Indian Giver
3:59
$0.49
02
Transmitter
5:06
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03
Universe
4:40
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04
Pass Me By
4:35
Free
05
Meal Worm
4:36
$0.49
06
Yakima Preacher
0:18
$0.49
07
Kill The Ones You Love
4:03
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08
Universe 2
0:20
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09
All Phase
3:13
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10
Paper Doll
5:15
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11
Love Loader
4:39
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12
Pilots House
6:43
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13
Venus In Red
4:04
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14
Skylight Myrical
3:55
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15
Going Down High
5:25
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 15   Total Length: 60:51

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They Say All Music Guide

Valis have never known the sort of stability that comes with releasing two albums in two years, and for the same record label — that is, until 2005 — and Champions of Magic, their fourth overall and second for Detroit’s Small Stone. That’s not to say that they’re dialing it in, either. A generous serving of 15 songs comprising a full hour of new music is on hand here, and, stylistically, the group is also still breaking new ground. Well, in a retrograde fashion, anyway, since Champions of Magic finds these Seattle veterans reconnecting with many of their alt rock roots following a surprisingly straight-faced flirtation with hard rock styles a year earlier. Not so straight-faced that they came off sounding like Boston, mind you (more like Monster Magnet), but enough to make new songs like “Indian Giver” and “Mealworm” — with their distinctive, psychedelic guitar licks à la Screaming Trees, and thrumming rhythm looseness à la Mudhoney — sound like a return to norm and form. Admittedly, leader Van Conner’s frequently weak, at times off-key vocals remain a hit-and-miss proposition (see him struggle through “Pass Me By” and “Paper Doll,” among others); but his dark sense of humor similarly boosts album highlight “Kill the Ones You Love” well over the top. Thanks to the likes of “Transmuter” and the two-part “Universe,” space rock sound effects continue to be a part of the overall equation (after all, this is a band that lists “Lemmy from Hawkwind” among their thank-you’s!), but discreetly so, making them a nice change-up, not a dominant gimmick. In short, as long as the listener has no problem with Valis’ seemingly intentional lack of performing discipline (“feel” being the operative word), and nurtures a healthy interest in the previous decade’s Seattle scene, Champions of Magic is well worth the tasting. – Eduardo Rivadavia

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