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The Soateramic Sounds of Magoo , 6/10
Vote the Pacifist Ticket Today , 5/10

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When they appeared, with a string of obliquely quirky tunes, Magoo were hailed as the British Guided By Voices or Pavement. The "lo-fi" spun by Andrew Rayner and Owen Turner actually defies classification, as it spans noise-rock and Brit-pop with equal indifference.

The early EPs, Mudshark (Noisebox, 1995), Robot Carnival (Noisebox, 1995), Eye Spy (Noisebox, 1996), later collected on Close Continental D.N.A. (Noisebox, 1998) were not particularly successful in imitating their American uncles.

The 23 short tracks of The Soateramic Sounds of Magoo (Chemikal Underground, 1997) showcase a poppier (A to Z and Back Again, psychedelic (The Queen of the 8-Bus Singers, Playing Cards With the Stars) sound. An excessive dose of self-indulgence turns the album into little more than an amateur's sketchbook.

Holy Smoke and Swiss Border Escape, the leading singles for Vote the Pacifist Ticket Today (Chemikal Underground, 1998), are the typical jokes that don't sound funny anymore. Others have been doing the same things for many years. The catchy Pink Dust may betray the true (and not so experimental) ambitions of the band.

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