'Rhyton will be nice' said my grandma one day but she was referring to the daffodil-clad Newcastle suburb of Ryton not this three piece supergroup with members of No Neck Blues Band and Pigeons. They produce a dusty, acid-fried brand of instrumental psychedelia which will appeal to fans of Steve Gunn's earlier work.
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- THRILL381CD / CD on Thrill Jockey. Edition of 300 copies with hand assembled wraparound artwork
8/10 Robin Staff review, 12 November 2014
It’s weird how groovy noise is sometimes. Take Rhyton’s “Siren In Byblos”, which starts with oscillating, screaming guitar strokes that make you reach for your earbuds when your headphones are in, before locking into a nice bass rhythm and a kindly dad rock riff. The word I’m looking for here is “somehow”. You know that old adage about camels going through needles, and how it’s a pretty difficult thing to do, all things considered? That’s this song, which manages to be something of a head-nodder, for at least four minutes. We’ve heard catchy disasters before -- Astral Social Club has made dance music for dissonant swamp-dwellers -- but Rhyton go one better. They make New Slick America.
This confusing little journey -- told in cosmic jams, Eastern affectations and the prodigal son of all music genres, psych rock -- is the work of a good few experimental stalwarts, including No Neck Blues Band’s Dave Shuford and the Psychic Ills’ very own Jimmy SeiTang. It’s a loose and highly informal work, a proverbial good time for a bunch of artists used to making compelling underground music for the fringes -- you can hear their contentedness to let these compositions sprawl outward and keep their best instrumental flourishes buried. “Topkapi” is a fine example of this modest approach, with mandolin ringing out perpetually while riffs circle and stretch out at their own discretion. With the warm, thoroughly implemented bass rhythms of SeiTang, though, the song sounds like a worn box being taped up nice and tight, in the hopes we might enjoy it as much as the band do. These surprisingly infecting grooves make ‘Kykeon’ a slightly more inviting listen than your average No Neck Blues Band record, which is neither a good thing or a bad thing: ‘Kykeon’ is just going to make the feet tap and the stress wash away. Which, you have to admit, is fucking weird.
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