Thursday, August 2, 2012
Syd Arthur - On an On
When you think of the Canterbury circuit during the late ‘60s and its golden period in the 1970s, you think of; The Soft Machine, Caravan, Camel, Arzachel, and Egg to name a few that had a huge influential sound in the history of Progressive Music and Jazz. However, one of the most up-and-coming bands to come out of that circuit is a promising group called Syd Arthur. With influences raging from Radiohead, Gentle Giant and the Soft Machine in their veins, this band really have got something up their sleeves and their debut album, On an On released this year, proves that not only they are going to hit the prog scene, but have a sound and vision in their mark of the Indie Rock scene of the 21st century.
It has more of a laid-back groove if you want to get into a soft-warm dance for a wonderful adventure you are about to experience. The sound of guitar, violin, drums, and bass coming together as one, is like something that you’ve never expected to hear from a quartet. Sometimes its indie mixed into some psychedelic Canterbury material along with a touch of the Jazz sounds of the late ‘60s that could have easily been recorded as an animated soundtrack.
First Difference opens the album off with a touch of a lukewarm folk rock sound that is brought to the table with a beautiful introduction to start it off combining with rhythm guitar, drums, vocals, and violin to make you feel that you are right at home, having a nice cup of tea and enjoying from what you are hearing from them. Meanwhile, the screeching turned haunting melodic structures on Edge of the Earth done by Raven Bush (nephew of Kate Bush) does this Darryl Way sort of introduction on the violin as Liam Magill’s voice comes in to calm the listener down with his vocals.
Ode to the Summer has some vibe sounds of the psychedelic Italian group, Jennifer Gentle while Dorothy is a soothing jazz waltz done in the ¾ time signature that is very chilled out momentum that is perfect for Jazz clubs to get a kick out of. Truth Seeker goes through some various time changes in this fuzz tone feedback rocking out to the galaxy that is far beyond anyone’s imagination. In the track, there are parts that are garage, prog, and warmth and they know their musical taste very well that would remind listeners of Gentle Giant’s Experience.
Night Shaped Light, an instrumental jazz fusion waltz mixed in with some funky chugging on the mandolin really captures some atmospheric vibes to groove into wonderful tempos as Black Wave goes into the Gothic Acid Folk territory. Moving World, meanwhile has some Bluesy Space Rock turned Bebop Jazz routine that makes perfect sense, not to mention the Alternative Rock sounds that has an uplifting tempo on Promise Me.
The closer which clocks in at eight minutes and twenty-two seconds, Paradise Lost, which the band were inspired by John Milton’s poetry, allows you to step out the doors and into the solar system. Filled with more of the gothic and haunting sinister sounds of the band coming together as one and take point for what is going on throughout the track mixed in with some Yes and Mahavishnu Orchestra's Inner Mounting Flame-era that makes it a perfect finale to close the album off.
I have listened to On an On about seven times already and to be honest, I am blown away from what I’ve heard and this is one of the most upcoming bands that are soon going to take notice one day. On an On is not just a progressive rock album, but more of a spiritual journey that is done by a four piece who know the score very well.