Review: Toshack Highway vs. Sianspheric

Toshack Highway vs. Sianspheric
“Magnetic Morning / Aspirin Age”
(Sonic Unyon)

One needs a press kit to understand what this essentially is.  We’ll start with Toshack Highway.  Adam Franklin is the singer of Swervedriver.  Swervedriver was from Oxford England and should have been WAY bigger than Oasis, but for some dumb reason, wasn’t.  (“Mezcal Head” being their best album that came out around ’93).  The band’s sound then got much softer for some reason.  So it’s no surprise that Toshack Highway has a lot of acoustically faint numbers with meandering lyrics and dreamy slow structures.  Yawn.  But he’s a good songwriter so at least they are somewhat varied in approach.  Fans of Elliot Smith might find a moment or three in here appealing (especially in “The Sounds and The Times”).

The Sianspheric connection comes from the band opening a few dates for Swervedriver back in the day, they kept in touch, wanted to do a split 7″, but it turned into this 5-song each split EP.  Sianspheric introduces themselves with a comatose inducing slow acoustic prettiness in the form of the opening track “Song For”.  Like a less acid soaked Pink Floyd playing along to a Zeppelin III album on vinyl.  Tracks #2, and #3 floated by on some drifting cloud of ambient background nothingness.  And then you get hit with a pop tune.  Weird.  “This All Happened” is actually like a peppy Dinosaur Jr.  The closer is another dragging dreamer of a song.  I am so very sleepy.  ‘Nite.