SENDELICA – CROMLECH CHRONICLES IV – FRUITS DE MER RECORDS
Sendelica describes their latest album as “a door of perception into the jamming delights of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Blue Cheer, Iron Butterfly and The Byrds at the heights of their improvisational prowess.” If they had also added Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Nik Turner and VDGG they may just have nailed it, as this instrumental quintet is definitely bringing back the late Sixties, with jam-driven psychedelic workouts where bass, drums, and synths normally take the back seat to the strident electric guitar and sax. Sendelica have of course been producing great music in Wales for more than a decade now, and during this period they have also been incredibly productive – I note that on Bandcamp if one wishes to get their complete digital discography that amounts to 34 releases!
Here we have three extended workouts, all allowing the guys to flex their musical wings, with Peter Bingham (guitar, electronics) and Lee Relfe (saxophone) taking the lead, ably supported by Glenda Pescado (bass), Meurig Griffiths (drums) and Lord Armstrong Sealand (Theremin & synths). The last guys tend to provide the supporting role which allows the others to go off and take flight, creating new themes and constantly revisiting old ones, all locked in as one. Psychedelic, progressive, exciting, invigorating and full of space this is music that captures a band at home with each other, playing in a live environment. No need for retakes or fancy overdubbing, this is about getting a band in their natural environment and capturing that vibrancy and immediacy for the world to hear.
Although it is available both digitally and on CD, of course, the only way to really hear this is by getting the double vinyl release from Fruits de Mer, where the fourth blank side has been overprinted in UV full-color, a new technique offered by the Record Industry pressing plant (not so much a picture disc, more a disc with a picture on it…). Superb. 8/10
this was a long-lost number from Billy and the boys.
Overall this is a great little release, but it is let down somewhat by the drum production which is far too much to the fore. When the cymbals are louder than the guitars then one can say there is an issue. But fans of the band will undoubtedly lap this up and it certainly has me intrigued to hear more from them.
7/10 Kev Rowland