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Syd Arthur

Crossover Prog

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Syd Arthur On An On album cover
3.95 | 75 ratings | 4 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. First Difference (3:14)
2. Edge of the Earth (3:35)
3. Ode to the Summer (4:03)
4. Dorothy (4:18)
5. Truth Seeker (2:54)
6. Night Shaped Light (3:33)
7. Promise Me (2:34)
8. Black Wave (2:23)
9. Moving World (4:04)
10. Paradise Lost (9:05)

Total Time: 39:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Liam Magill / guitar, lead vocals
- Raven Bush / violin, mandolin, piano
- Joel Magill / bass, percussion, backing vocals
- Fred Rother / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Liam Magill

LP Dawn Chorus Recording Company - DCRC007 (2012, UK)
LP Harvest 2537564699 (2014, US)

CD Dawn Chorus Recording Company DCRC006 (2012, UK)
CD Harvest 2537564675 (2012,US)

Thanks to tendst for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SYD ARTHUR On An On ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SYD ARTHUR On An On reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by obiter
5 stars Welcome to a wonderful world which some of us may have thought was lost only to be re-visited through the vinyl recesses of our collections.

From the first bars of First Difference you are transported to and wrapped in the warm optimistic Canterbury Scene of yore. But you are in an altogether modern environment. This has a distinctly contemporary edge. There's an undercurrent of jazz.

Edge of the Earth was a song I'd already come across on youtube. My favourite, this has an impelling rhythm, an edge, but it is the effortless changes of mood, the unstrained vocal which has such an impact. Love the drums. This is a must listen to track.

Ode to Summer I've already reviewed as an EP. The same beautiful synthesis of vocal, violin, bass and drums. Love the bass.

Dorothy: (there's an EP with studio and live). A slow understated jazz with almost lazy vocal style that reminds me of Stina Nordenstam (not the pitch though!).

Truth Seeker has a harder edge. Not typical at the start but again the effortless shifts in mood and rhythm stamp an unmistakable Syd Arthur seal on the track. I suppose that is one of the striking things about this band. Having only listened to 3 EPs and this album their sound is instantly recognisable. Formulaic this isn't.

Night shaped light features a stronger violin part. Again the changes and tight bass + guitar runs. For me there is a bit much. I found the guitar sound too distorted and muddy at the end. But then again I'm pretty sure that's exactly what was being sought.

Promised Me has a similar mix. Again the guitar is muddier as the song drives on. Then there is a break, the quiet melody on a radio.

Black Wave returns to the cleaner more open sound. There is control and balance. One of my favourites.

For a second as Moving World started I thought Michael Buble was about to cut in. That jazzy undertone is to the fore. But there is a folk story telling, a prog shifting of timing and mood. One of my favourites.

Paradise Lost. This has it all. At one point we have a distorted slow heavy beat with bass Geezer might have played. How did we get here? It's like Sabbath! Then a total breakdown, an ethereal passage more reminiscent of spacerock before the clean guitar brings us back. The vocals return with a delayed echo. Then back into an up beat staccato passage. Then break to a smooth rolling. reminiscent of classic yes. Classic prog.

You know you're hooked when you've listened to an album a dozen or so times and yet when it ends you find yourself going "what? no more?" replay and search the web for a few new snippets.

Simply a must have. Many will wait eagerly for the next offering. The worry is in an X-factor world of pop pap it takes proggers to support bands as such as this.

No hesitation: must have.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Coming from Canterbury, claiming to play Progressive Rock and not having 70's local influences in your sound is pretty much impossible.Syd Arthur hail from Kent, led by four musicians, brothers Liam Magill (lead vocals, guitar, percussion, flute) and Joel Magill (bass, percussion, vocals) along with Raven Bush (mandolin, violin, percussion, piano, vocals) and drummer Fred Rother.They slowly built a cult fame directed by the release of no less than 3 EP's, ''Kingdoms of experience'' (2008), ''Willow tree'' (2010) and ''Moving world'' (2011), before they launched their first full-length album ''On and on'' during the summer of 2012.The album was recorded at Syd Arthur's Wicker Studios and released on their own Dawn Chorus label, handed in CD and a limited number of vinyl editions.

They sound quite close to ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS, developing short tracks with a dense musicianship, where Pop sensibilities finally find some space next to nervous, jazzy interludes of the Canterbury scool of Fusion.''On and on'' comes actually as a mix of Prog, Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, Pop and Blues, but the adventurous workouts of the classic Canterbury scene are more than any of Syd Arthur's other influences.CARAVAN is the most appropriate comparison for this modern group, which builds its sound on some cool electric piano, plenty of violin moves and a happy rhythm section.Even Liam Magill's vocals seem like coming from the 70's, while he occasionally throws in some nice guitar bits, but his best contribution appears to be the clever mandolin shades in the bulk of the album's tracks.The music rarely becomes powerful, but when it does some moments of prog majesty are waiting in the corner.These guys seem to be fond of elaborate, finesse-styled musical textures with a flexible Fusion palette and indeed the result is usually quirky with the impressive violin tricks and the sound of piano being complemented by some inventive electric textures and a touch of acoustic crescendos.Only attempt on a longer composition, the 8-min. ''Paradise lost'' sounds like an amalgam of CARAVAN's career with ethereal passages, jazzy textures, proggy twists and a Post Rock vibe during the ambiental sceneries.

The spirit of Canterbury Prog will never be lost with bands like these.Modern material with beautiful vintage acoustics of the local area, wrapped in a mix of Prog, Jazz and Pop.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars While I'm waiting for Syd Arthur's second album, I've decided to return to listen their brilliant and promising debut LP and I have to say that is a great pleasure for me to find again such an exquisite sound into the 10 tracks of this album. Maybe there's not totally original compositions he ... (read more)

Report this review (#1360733) | Posted by progadicto | Monday, February 2, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a lovely and elegant blend of so many different genres! Most songs have a warm and estival feel to them which is made even more interesting with the heavy jazz chords played in the background. Syd Arthur were not only able to mix genres but they did it in a very catchy way. They didn't trade ... (read more)

Report this review (#1185078) | Posted by JwixVonJwax | Thursday, June 5, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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