BY MICHAEL TOLAND
There’s nothing about Syd Arthur that screams “contemporary.” The Canterbury band draws from the late 60s and early 70s music of its birthplace, that quirky, jazzy psychedelic pop that unsurprisingly found favor with prog rock audiences of the time. Hell, the quartet is even signed to revived British prog rock label Harvest. But that’s the group’s advantage. By concentrating on that era’s virtues – accessible melodics, deft musicianship, an inviting sense of whimsy – Syd Arthur avoids any whiff of trendiness and just gets down to the business of writing and performing timeless music on its second record Sound Mirror.
While nothing really rocks in the traditional sense of taking no prisoners, “Hometown Blues” and “Chariots” (and its instrumental companion “Singularity”) work up a good head of steam, while “What’s Your Secret” and “Forevermore” favor more atmospheric and lilting flavors. The kickoff track holds the key: you’ll know five seconds into the trippy, tuneful “Garden of Time” whether you want to run far and fast or if you’ve made a new friend for life.
DOWNLOAD: “Garden of Time,” “Chariots,” “Forevermore”