Ok, so what do Leeds, England, Buenos Aires, Argentina and 432 Hz, have in common? Not much unless you put them together in a band and name it SYTERIA. Jackie (Jax) Chambers, lead guitar, Keira Kenworthy on bass, and siblings Julia and Pablo Calvo, lead vocals/rhythm guitar and drums, respectively, round off the group. SYTERIA have grown exponentially, especially after their first album titled Rant-O-Bot, which seemed to be a great success.
With a solid fan base, 160 pledgers contributed over $7,500 US to make this album happen. Pretty darn good if you ask me. SYTERIA have a very unique sound. Most songs are written by Chambers, but on Reflection (self-produced and currently out to pledgers only), the Calvo gang make their songwriting appearance as well. Keira’s turn was last album and I liked her song a great deal (“Kamikazi”). The Calvo’s rock it up a notch, while Jax cruises with a steady, punky vibe.
“Leeding” off the album (sorry, don’t hate me), let’s take a stand and “Make Some Noise”. A quick number that promotes the idea of the second coming of SYTERIA. In the #2 position is “Goodbye World”, a catchy tune and although there is debate on “man made global warming”, there obviously remains more to do. Let’s not give up just yet. Not the most positive song on the album, but it makes one think, enough said. In third position is the title song “Reflection”. Actually several years old, and re-recorded, it originally made its appearance on an EP titled Wake Up (as “Reflections”). Fast paced and punky with the hook “If you’re looking for the light, then look in the mirror” strategically placed? I think so.
Written by Pablo Calvo, “Asylum” makes his debut and is the heaviest tune on the album. Jax puts in a nice solo with some heavy rhythm guitar. Reflective of how society treats one another it shows how we can take things too damn seriously. Mi favorito. Segway into “Gossips” and not much explanation is needed, for the title tells the story. If someone is talking about me, then their life must be boring as hell. Get a life man.
We all mess up from time to time and ego gets the best of us. We can apologize and sometimes people choose hurt rather than forgive. “Sorry” shows us the mental torture we can put ourselves through looking for that forgiveness. Some people live in a dream world and fool themselves about who they think they are. They brag to keep up their spirits, but deep down they only act “As If”. Fine in meditation, but not so great as a way to live.
“Back Off” reminds us to give each other their own space. The shortest number on the disk, but a fine tune, with a nice Jax solo. “Moving Forwards (Angels and Demons)” is reminiscent of the Rant-O-Bot sound; the overtone is that we should observe our inner self talk. We all have the positive, but many times the negative thoughts win out. What is true? The one to which you give the most power. True enough. “I Want It All” is a deep, rumination of encouragement and disengagement, to be spiritually free “in the middle” of life. I had a good friend years ago who passed away in 1989 who used to say “freedom is in the middle”. I think he was right.
Let me guess, those are fake right? Although you might look like a knockout (to you) “Plastic Fantastic” might just be your window to something deeper. Who likes to admit when they are wrong? No one I know, but when the gavel hits the bench, we can be “Guilty”, guilty as sin, a theme carried forward from the most recent GIRLSCHOOL album. Humm, I wonder who might be in that band? Rounding out the album is a bonus track “Halloween”, posted on YouTube in October 2018 (and featuring GIRLSCHOOL members Denise Dufort, Kim McAuliffe and other friends), SYTERIA produced a silly video to this song. The band isn’t all serious. Glad they are having some fun, damn it.
I think SYTERIA is on the move. They are identifying their defined space in the universe. While they may not be everyone’s paper cup of Jack Daniels, they are also not trying to impress anyone but themselves. They love and respect their fans (something many bands forget to do after a time). Personally I liked the first album a bit better than this one, but as for songwriting rumination, it’s just as well done. Salude’.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Make Some Noise”, “Asylum”, “Reflection”
-MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH