The members of Finnish group Octopus Syng may be nearing middle age now, but their advancing years haven’t caused them to lose too much of their enthusiasm for the childlike wonders of psychedelic rock. Latest LP Victorian Wonders is another exercise in primal psychotherapy from Jaire Pätäri et al. The sweet, simple lilts of numbers such as ‘Sunday’s Jackdaws’ and ‘One Day At The Amusement Park’ recall Syd Barrett.
LP £18.99 DODOLP31
180g purple vinyl LP on Mega Dodo. Edition of 300 copies housed in a gatefold sleeve.
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CD £11.49 DODOCD31
CD on Mega Dodo.
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You can always tell a psychedelic band because of the use of then letter Y where an I would do. Is Syd Barrett responsible for this? He's certainly responsible for the career of this Finnish band who I appeared to have liked back in 2016 with their album Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt without having any recollection of having listened to them.
A few years on it's still 1967 in Octopus Syng world and their are still wandering around the darkened halls of Piper At The Gates of Dawn. This is perhaps less madcap and varied as their previous album, mainly consisting of eerie folky compositions sung in voices that suggests that they wear cloaks. It lacks perhaps the pop nous of some of their earlier work and settle into the sort of Barrett whimsy he mined on tracks like Matilda Mother. There's a Tolkein feel to the lyrics - generally about gnomes and shit - told with the air of a ghost story teller over organ and guitar accompaniment.
There's only so many ways to say it but this is stuck seemingly permanently in eerie 1967 Syd Barrett ballads. I was hoping for more See Emily Play type tracks - I'm sure they are perfectly capable of it - but it's all minor key folky whimsy. I enjoy this sort of stuff but I'd like some variation - something more like Piper At The Gates of Dawn in fact.
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