Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN - 5/12
On And On
Written by: PP on 26/10/2012 23:58:42
Here's another interesting release by a band that isn't afraid to push their songwriting capacity to its outer limits on each song. Syd Arthur, who originate from Canterbury, UK, namely present an extremely varied and intriguing sound on their debut album "On And On". It's again one of those that's difficult to describe on paper, because although the band source from psychedelic rock as their primary source, they venture deep into the realms of blues, folk rock, and even indie-pop and indie-folk during the album.
The opening track "First Difference" might fool you into thinking this is yet another Rival Sons/The Parlor Mob/Wolfmother/insert your chosen retro rock band given it's haunting Led Zeppelin-esque melodies and the bluesy croons of their vocalist. Likewise, "Dorothy" takes strong influence from the blues rock genre. But as you progress through the album, you quickly discover that these are but mere afterthoughts in the music, which otherwise balances an even mixture of folk, indie, pop, and psychedelia at the same time. Some songs lean more on the pop side, such as "Ode To The Summer", which can even be argued to be rather catchy in places, whereas others are more introverted folk tunes or even sexy indie pieces like "Truth Seeker" with the occasional blues riff faded to the background.
It's an exercise in an experimental approach to writing music. There are moments where Syd Arthur sound sublime, but the continuous variety of style and soundscape does come at a cost: it's at times a little messy and hard to get into. It's also interesting to note that whenever the band sounds most like Rival Sons and other contemporary blues rock bands, they are at their best. The weird indie-folk-psychedelia songs don't work nearly as well.
Download: First Difference, Ode To The Summer, Promise Me
For the fans of: Rival Sons, Soft Machine, Mystery Jets,
Release date 02.07.2012
Dawn Chorus Recording Company