Caffeine Superstar, Magnet's fourth release, was recorded and mixed at Excello studios in Brooklyn NY by Bryan Martin (Mark Eitzel, Ida, Congo Norvell). Guitarist/singer Mark Goodman formed Magnet in 1996 after spending time in NYC based acts Foggy Notion and My Dog Homer. He recruited a crew of veteran musicians to record some new tunes, which ultimately became the debut album, Don't Be a Penguin. The group included guitarist Dan Brenner, bassist Mike Rivard (Jen Trynin, Morphine, Club d'Elf) and former Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker, who agreed to be on the album and subsequently toured with the band because she liked Goodman's songs and thought he was well organized. On subsequent albums Goodman continued to recruit musicians he admired and allow them to influence the Magnet sound. On Which Way, an EP released in '98 on PC Music, Matt Wilson of Trip Shakespeare (and currently the Flops) produced the album and played many of the instruments creating a layered sound of guitars and keyboards. The following year Goodman traveled to Richmond to record an album with David Lowery of Cracker and Camper van Beethoven. Lowery produced the third Magnet album, Shark Bait, by recruiting Cracker members Johnny Hickman and Bob Rupe and other Richmond friends to take each song and give it a unique personality. Caffeine Superstar was recorded by one of the Magnet touring line-ups, a trio featuring Paul Bauman on guitar and Chris Lovejoy (Charlie Hunter) on drums. The stripped down version of Magnet peppered shows with mellow tunes that became the core of Caffeine Superstar. Goodman says of the album, 'The goal of Caffeine Superstar was to create a cohesive and dreamy album. The vibe suits my voice well, and the songs rock in a very quiet, understated way.' Victor Krummenacher of Camper Van Beethoven played bass and Steve Schiltz, a young guitar wizard who fronts New York's popular Longwave, added atmospheric flavors to help create a trippy sound. This direction is epitomized by the songs 'Slow Dive' and 'Over Easy' which sit nicely with more upbeat songs like 'Feel No Pain' and 'Shredded Twisted Paper.' Magnet has built up an extensive following through several tours and positive attention from the press, including features in Billboard and Alternative Press. Their first three CDs also garnered college radio airplay where each spent several weeks on CMJ's top 200 chart. Review from SnapPop: 'The first song, 'Over Easy,' with it's Leslie-fied atmospheric guitar arpeggios, gnarly bass, and dreamy vocals, is in itself, worth the price of admission. Every time I play this disc, I hit repeat two or three times before moving on to the rest of the songs. Mark Goodman's voice brings to mind a kinder, gentler Lou Reed on really good heroin. The irony of the album title should sink in by the middle of the second cut, 'Slow Dive,' but if you really need it spelled out for you, hang around for the gloriously (hilariously?) sedate version of the Ramones' classic 'I Wanna Be Sedated.' Throughout the album the playing is appropriately understated and the songs tuneful in that unique New York kind of way. I have to give extra props to Steve Schiltz for his 'guitar and atmospheric flavors' ....tasty indeed.
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