Syd Arthur - On an On. 2012 England

When you name your band Syd Arthur, you're just begging to be compared to late 60s Pink Floyd combined with any number of whimsical early 70s UK progressive bands. And in Syd Arthur's case, given the band's home locale of Canterbury (really? you have to be from there, huh?),  I think the indigenous reference has Pye Hastings' Caravan all over this. Well, one could do worse than be the missing link between Caravan's first album and If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You. I found the songwriting to be particularly enlightened here (do I hear a melody? Why, I do!), way beyond the usual mimicry that modern bands seem to think they achieve by throwing analog instruments at some skeleton of a composition, and going 4/4 time with slabs of fuzz hoping to gain some sort of 1971 street cred and falling straight on their tattoo of a jester. And Syd Arthur gets that. My, how they do. Not sure how these kids managed to plug themselves into the spirit of the 1970 UK era, but they've done a tremendous job on the cleverly titled On an On (yet perhaps another reference to Caravan's similarly cleverly titled second album). Too much so, if I can interpret the lost look on most hipster's faces. "Uh... dude. Wait... I don't get it, man" while fiddling to get their nose ring just right. Then there's the fact that one of the quartet is primarily featured on violin. Now they've really done it - going all Northern Irish and all that rot. Yea, it's Fruupp at the time of Future Legends. No one thought about that, did they? That's what Ashratom is here to do. Remind everyone of what they're hearing, even if the band themselves aren't sure. And the psychedelic guitar and absolute brilliant vocals (another vestige from a bygone era - no emotive whining here - nope, just pure psych harmony bliss). Hey Syd Arthur? Thanks for bringing psychedelic styled songwriting back into progressive rock. You guys are awesome! Can't wait to hear what's next.

Personal collection
CD: 2012 Dawn Chorus

Last listen: April 8, 2014

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