Monday, August 6, 2012

Proggy Went A Shorten (Sorry)

Funny how things happen.

Along with some new things like Dhani Harrison's new record and an advance of the new Ian Hunter, I've been listening to Frank Zappa and Soft Machine and John Martyn and the criminally underrated first Yes album and Kate Bush. I've also been catching up on some old issues of Mojo and Uncut.

(Did you know that The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were like, really good bands? I kid Mojo because I love Mojo.)

But as I soaked in the great prog sounds of the aformentioned artists, I began reading a review of a new band out of Canterbury, Syd Arthur, which Uncut rated a 7/10, and by some wild coincidence was compared to Soft Machine and Frank Zappa and King Crimson, and features Raven Bush, Kate Bush's nephew on violin. No really! Like I said, funny.

The review moved me enough to grab the record and I am all the better for it. For those who have never been enamored with the most common elements of prog rock--lengthy tunes, phantasmagorical lyrics, John Wetton---Syd Arthur is free of all three. This is a short record, with all but one song clocking in between three and four minutes. Liam Magill's vocals are smooth and soulful. and the band's playing is just slick enough to impress without hamming it up. First two passes of "On An On," and I locked in.

I really love this video, too. Not so much for what is going on, because not much is. But because, bands like Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Frank & The Mothers, always seemed old to me, even when they were kids. Watching these kids play this music feels just as unique as the sound itself.

You can check it out further HERE.


buzzbabyjesus said...

Doesn't quite float my boat. I miss what they don't play.

Sal Nunziato said...


As someone who has never apologized for loving KC, Yes, Genesis and the rest, I understand your "I miss what they don't play" comment. Still, there was something really nice about the whole record. The video may not be the best thing.

FD13NYC said...

I could deal with this, it's pretty good, even pleasant. Like jazzy prog, and I'm not really into prog that much. But the short length of the song makes it tolerable. I'm going to dig deeper.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I experienced the video in it's entirety, more than my usual single minute, although the first time I looked to see how much time had passed it was fifty something seconds, and what I was looking for was a riff or a breakdown, something to interrupt the pleasant monotony.

A walk in the woods said...

I'm not a progger (other than when Todd Rundgren does it) but I dig this.

Sal, you should check out Dungen if you haven't already - they are mighty prog, and new/young:

cmealha said...

Really like this one. Also heard some Radiohead in there