By Anthony Mclaude, Rock At Night Philadelphia
Review: M.A.G.S’s album Say Things That Matter– August 2021
Buffalo-bred with a Los Angeles base, 30-year-old Elliot Douglas, otherwise known as his mononymous initialed “shock value” moniker M.A.G.S., Marijuana and Good Sex, has lit a spliff, unzipped and whipped out his first full-length pop-punk album, ‘Say Things That Matter.’ As an alternative born rock-savant who’s a bit rough around the edges, life on the rip-roaring road hasn’t always been lived fast.
Raised in a severe and secular restricted household, Douglas at the time of being raised as the son of a preacher, adopted a listening ear to gospel music — up until his teenage rock ‘n’ roll epoch where he became more of a non-church-goer and began finding his own radical taste in pop, punk, and hardcore music. As a result of being caught violently moshing and screaming in the abyss of the bathing pit, his family would be excommunicated from their congregation, leaving M.A.G.S. unfiltered and losing his religion. He no longer wants to be identified as a Christian with a religious affiliation to filter the type of progressive content he was able to be the cause of creating and walking off with.
In the aftermath of being burning hot as a partier who pretty much parted ways with the church, Douglas continues to spark up and bang out on the ravenous rave as his marijuana and good sex acronym suggests, to give his audience more of the raw. On Say Things That Matter, M.A.G.S. has synesthesia, he writes and merges different styles of music that feed the soul. The album is by turns flavorful, ever shifting, ultraslick, clashing and gorgeous: a belligerent, yet soul-snappy step in the smooth direction of the reinvented-age of fun, danceable nostalgic punk-pop music.
On lead singles, “Smile,” “Sunrise,” “Choked Out,” and “Wait,” celebrating personal-growth are the essential attractive and rugged features of the album. In his highest of highs and lowest of lows, Douglas continues to fix his broken smile. “Smile,” a quarrel of two lovers. But beyond the dark and brooding bedside manor that engulfs their relationship, one person longs to try and find a middle ground. “Wait” is the song that began the album making process of “Say Things That Matter;” a chaotic off the wall distorted grunge aura in the style of a smooth sex machine.
“You’re a masterpiece inside a broken shell/I might get down and you might start loving this new hell,” choked Douglas as he tearfully belted out, “I don’t want to love you anymore.” “Choked Out” celebrates personal-growth by stripping away the past of being one’s own worst critic. He no longer succumbs to self-sabotage, instead he succeeds in surrendering to self-love. “Sunrise” is the eventide of the aesthetically pleasing album. A looping moment captured clubbing on the beach and headbanging offshore before saying our last goodbyes as the reflective music ends.
The fiery convicted rhythm on Say Things That Matter perishes the thought of slouching towards flavor of the month and offers hope that Douglas, regardless of being a melodious rock ‘n’ roll sex symbol, he is destined to be an intriguing and exciting artist continuing onward into the radiant future.
**Rock At Night reviewed M.A.G.S. live show in Tampa on December 7th.
M.A.G.S. – Say Things That Matter
- Choked Out
Follow M.A.G.S. Online:
- M.A.G.S. Sparks a Drag and Bangs Out on ‘Say Things That Matter’ - December 27, 2021
- Wild the Coyote Takes the Road Less Traveled on ‘Silver Round Bullet’ - October 21, 2021
- Le Junk Thrashes to Unburden a Habit on ‘Sticky Side’ - October 11, 2021