Artist: System Syn
CD title: "No Sky To Fall"
Release Date: 12/11/2013
I had been aware of the name System Syn for some time, but for some reason I had never actually heard the music. However the people I had heard talking about the project (or had seen them to be playing on a lineup with) made me more+more curious about the project. So, with a new album released it's a perfect time to finally give them a listen and see what I thought.
The newest album, No Sky To Fall, opens with the track the album takes it's title from, starting slowly with a synth riff, before it builds up and the beat starts, while maintaining a nice laid back feel to it. The vocals come in fairly quickly, taking us with them as they warn of lines crossed and things lost, and into an uplifting chorus, followed by a very cool breakdown that continues into the next verse. First track I've heard by them and already i can't wait to hear more! "The Privileged" is up next, the lyrics being about just that, someone privileged who lives "like they're on tv", with a great chorus - the chorus alone makes me want to be on a dancefloor to this song! The 3rd track, "The Boys Who Make The Music" takes a different tack to begin with, a bit more "open" before it gets to the 1:05 mark, when the vocals suddenly become insistent, driving the words into your ears, before opening up and the song can breathe again. This is repeated a few times during the song, with drums and bass galloping along during the insistent sections. "Hide and Seek" starts off, passionate vocals pervade the song as it unfolds, that "there will be a brighter day away from the tragedies of youth", of trying to escape the fears and taunts of childhood. There is a subtle but, to this listener, great piano hook in the background of the mix that adds more to the song than most would think."Daydream from a Deathbed" brings the mood back around, despite slightly melancholic lyrics, it uplifts regardless. The next track "Breathe in" is more urgent in sound, and tone, telling us to "Breathe in, it's what you were born to do" and asking "Can we ever reach the air or do we all fall down before the smoke gives way to sky?". A very well done track, and at times the vocals remind me of Mark Chadwick (The Levellers) which to me is no bad thing! With a piano part that instantly sets the tone, "The Lost" deals with death, saying "I will not forget you, I will not forgive the things we've done" and asking if they'll ever meet again or are they lost forever. A very melancholic moment on the album. "Truth and Consequence" pulls us back from that although it keeps some of the feeling, albeit in a more upbeat fashion, and with more Chadwick-esque vocals in places. "I didn't walk away, I ran as fast as I could go" we're told, but not from but towards the truth, while still being "afraid of what I'd find". With a longer intro/buildup (for this album!), "Myth" kicks in, warning us of "bowing to a parasite that lives to suck us dry" and that Clint Carney (founder/songwriter) doesn't "have time to live my life afraid of what may be", and that truth is more beautiful than any myth, and that we shouldn't want to be afraid, ashamed or controlled by the myths. "Empty" comes in right after with a gentle piano line, before the bass and drums come in and finally vocals - a song that is very open, and mellow, with a great vocal delivery. The slightly discordant synth part that comes in doesn't detract from it and instead adds to the wholeness of the song. The final track is "A Prayer of Ending", and a great song to finish off the album with, with mention of humanities differences, "we're free to worship different Gods and tell ourselves the other's wrong, we load our guns and fly our flags and kill each other..." and that we stand in line to do so. Again, a great song to finish off an album that in places is quite personable, and introspective, as well as melancholic.
It may have taken me longer than it should have, but on the strength of this album alone, I've become a big fan of System Syn, and will now endevour to get hold of the previous releases while hoping for the chance to see some of these songs live. It's not all "4 to the floor" and has some great "mood" moments as well, an album I would definitely recommend!
You can hear a track "The Privileged" here:
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