For my money, there are few prog/space-rock bands that can measure up to this U.K., based unit’s aptitude, focus and overall methodology within a genre that is apt to become superfluous in scope. Here, the trio augments its sound with the addition of multi-reedman Martin Archer and violinist Cyndee Lee Rule, for a tribute to the late psychedelic rock innovator and disturbed artist Syd Barrett.
Late ‘60s Pink Floyd under Barrett’s helm was a study in new wave experimentation within a quasi, pop and progressive-rock outlet, heavily influenced by psychedelia. Therefore, Barrett’s singing and off-kilter guitar phrasings abetted the band’s massive sheets of sound, where spacey keys, tumbling drums and wailing guitars provided an artistic element to the band’s budding accessibility.
On this release the band conjures up innuendos of Floyd’s early aura with a spacey, trippy and modernized sound, catapulted by soaring psycho guitar lines, steely bass lines and pulsating rhythms. They dutifully capture the era sans vocals. For example, they enact a driving impetus during "Bettr’r Day’s," where a synth-laden mystical terrain interfaces with Gary Houghton’s dream-sequence like glissando and wah-wah guitar lines. And in other spots, the band generates cavernous soundscapes, often tinged with echo-chamber like treatments and melodic overtones. Then on ".... Far Away," they pronounce a state of cosmic bliss via whispery flute-like permutations and notions of a far away place, perhaps insinuating a wind-down period from an acid trip. Of course Barrett’s drug intake is partly attributed to the breakdown of his persona. Nonetheless, it’s a beautifully constructed sojourn that triumphantly morphs the old with the new via a probing yet lighthearted perspective on Barrett’s musicality. (Essential.... )