Review ·

Remember just a few years ago, back before MySpace (yes, I know it seems like it was ancient times), when The O.C. acted a lot like MySpace does now -- as a venue for lesser known acts to get their names out? Well, the show must have switched musical directors somewhere along the way. Because after doing a good job of bringing Death Cab, the Walkmen, and Modest Mouse into the canals of more ears, the show the teen set goes gaga for is now pimping dreck such as Syd Matters.

 

The band, which is French, says its name is a tribute to Syd Barrett, but god I hope that poor guy passed away before he had to hear any of this shite. Think U2 and Radiohead rock too hard? Check out Coldplay. Coldplay too loud for your liking? Then Syd Matters is definitely the band for you. If this music was any lighter, the CD would levitate.

 

This release takes material that's been available since friggin' 2003 and simply reshuffles it, adding a couple tack-ons. Nobody even bothered to create new album art. Apparently it was somebody's bright idea to re-release all of this after the song "To All of You" was used in a prom scene in an O.C. episode back in April.

 

There's nothing here to even remotely offend the Starbuck's sipping/Barnes & Noble browsing yuppie crowd. "Someday Sometimes" and "Lost Bird" are chock full of Gothic longing and sadness, with lilting acoustic guitars and whispery background chants. Later there's an El-P remix of that first song, the oddest pairing of remixer and band since DJ Shadow did work for Keane. "Icare," featuring Euros Childs of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and "English Way" employ Debussyian submerged piano sounds.

 

Only a band full of head cases would pick the name Syd Matters but then wait until the last song on their album to get Floydian. "What are you Looking At?" a cacophonous mix of singing and talking, is the only thing that might, in a parallel universe, have appeared on Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

 

On opener "City Talks," Morelli claims, "I'd rather stop talking." Fifteen long, laborious tracks later, you'll wish he'd have followed that feeling. 

 

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Band: http://www.sydmatters.com/

Label: http://gb.v2music.com/site/default.asp?

"Little Lights" MP3

"Someday Sometimes (Remix)" MP3

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/sydmatters 

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