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Album Review : SYTERIA – Reflection

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SYTERIA – Reflection Syteria don’t mess about. For them it’s a case of rushing in like a candy coated snarling whirlwind of punk pop power, tearing strips off of you and then going just as fast as they came, as you lay there in a heap, a grin plastered across your face.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxL3-olkr9I&w=560&h=315]

As with their debut, ‘Rant-O-Bot’, their sophomore release ‘Reflections’ is packed with riot grrrl gems that sparkle and rock in equal measure, a perfect antidote to these troubled times. Led by longtime Girlschool six stringer Jackie Chambers, Syteria are like the younger, more playful sibling of the NWOBHM legends and bring the same livewire feel to all they do. 

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Make Some Noise’ kicks things off with a great riff, cool drumming and gang vocals that all add up to an utterly joyful romp that will grab you by the lapels and swing you around in a wild dance. The Eco aware ‘Goodbye World’ and title track ‘Reflection’ follow in the same vein, perfect bubblegum rock that balances melodies with a razor-sharp edge. There is a real gang feel to the band, all four members locking together in a tight unit that hits their mark every single time with Julia Calvo’s vocals impressively capturing the spirit of the whole perfectly. Elsewhere, ‘Asylum’ is a rush of pure adrenaline, lead single ‘Gossips’ another beautifully constructed composition and the bitter/sweet ‘Sorry’ is like being caressed with a velvet encased switchblade.  

The band show their heavier side with the pneumatic ‘As If’, piledriving riffs and dangerous insolence that really doesn’t give a toss about anything but making its point made. Commendably, Chambers rarely forces herself to the front, putting the songs and the band ahead of any ego at all times, but she really comes into her own with the stinging solo in ‘Back Off’, her fretwork sizzling with stylish licks. New wave vibes ramp up the excitement of ‘Moving Forward’ and ‘I Want It All’, the latter a souped-up take on Blondie’s brand of spiky sheen. There’s more than just a sugar rush to all this, Syteria artfully making salient points and social commentary along with the good time party tunes with an intelligence that few handle quite so perfectly. Good time music that makes you think, who would have guessed?  

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It all comes to a shuddering and glorious end with the tidal wave of sound that is ‘Guilty’, huge and driving like an out of control truck. ‘Reflections’ is another giant step forward for the band, who, whilst not messing too much with the four to the floor formula, manage to pack as much edge of the seat excitement into these grooves as they do in their kinetic live shows. You can’t but help love them. 

Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM  

 

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