The middle child in a three-EP series, Feathers’ Synchromy festers in its cozy niche of arrestingly vintage postmodernism for a total of less than twenty minutes before dissolving from memory almost entirely. It could be argued that choppy avant-garde composition is too arty — and verse/chorus/verse-free — to make a lasting impression without numerous dedicated listens. I don’t think that’s true. If haunting, poignant, or even just interesting enough, this sort of music can rope a listener in with a few bars alone. Ask any fan of Aphex Twin or World’s End Girlfriend.
This is, by no means, to say that the Feathers boys fail entirely. They pull in what seems like every instrument they can find, and the results are never finer than on opener “Skara Brain.” From echoing electric guitar, pretty xylophones and Ray Manzarek-style keyboard inserts to a pulsingly dramatic, drum-fueled conclusion, this is the album’s highlight. The other cuts are barely worth mentioning. The first half of “Mint Cairo” has some geeky charm, but it loses its footing and comes off like a cheap Yellow Magic Orchestra imitation. “Tone Poem,” “Iron Mountain” and “Ap(parenthe)synthesis” are about as pretentious and faux-significant as the titles lead you to believe.
Had the group released “Skara Brain” as a single, possibly with “Mint Cairo” as a B-side, we’d have something here. Given this is an EP belonging to a fancy-shmancy trilogy, however, I just can’t forgive the mediocrity. If there are only five songs, they had better impress any listener curious enough to track them down. This isn’t the case with Synchromy. I’ll pass on part three, thanks.