Yorkshire-based rockstrels Syteria are back with a new album, Reflection, which is choc full with tunesomely melodic nuggets of power pop and punk goodness; Their first album, Rantobot, came out a couple of years ago, but registered no more than a ‘meh’ on Mickey’s metalometer, making a pleasant enough noise but no real lasting impressions. I’m happy to report that this new album shows a one hundred per cent improvement on what’s gone before.
Although Girlschool six string alumnus Jax Chambers took most of the limelight on that first record, I always had a sneaking suspicion that vocalist Julia Calvo was the real ace up Syteria’s sleeve, a real star in waiting, and, call me Nostradamus, call me Clinton Baptiste, call me whatever you like – but Reflection proves me right time and again. Julia delivers the album’s match winning performance, handling everything from the spikily anthemic opener Make Some Noise, the superb late seventies power pop of Gossips or the Britpoppy jaunt of Plastic Fantastic with equal star quality and aplomb. It’s a great performance and a delight to listen to.
Chambers doesn’t lag far behind – her solo on the jagged Sorry is rather good, but to these ears this is first, last and always the Calvo show… her standout performance, on the seventies stomper As If, sees her digging deep to deliver a delirious combination of Lena Lovich and Lush’s Miki Berenyi that’s just as alluring as the description might suggest.
Syteria made a few waves with their last album, but if there’s any justice then Reflection is going to cause an absolute tsunami of admiration to come flooding from all those who know their onions where power pop and punk are concerned. Give this a spin and tell me I’m wrong.
Reflection is out now on Syteria Records, with distribution by Cargo Records.