Comes with a Smile # reviews
news | current issue | back issues | the songs | interviews | reviews
images | web exclusives | top 10 | history | search
search

cwas#13 / cwas#12 / cwas#11 / cwas#9 / cwas#8 / cwas#7
cwas#6 / cwas#4 / all reviews / search

Simply Saucer | Cyborgs Revisited (Sonic Unyon)
Here come the Cyborgs: an over-amplified plastic inevitable explosion of Velvet Underground white light/white heat, Pink Floyd interstellar overdrives, Eno's astral synth squelches and insert your own freewheeling free rock titan's antics here. Having the honour of being the most criminally underrated underground band to emerge from 1970s Ontario, Canada's Simply Saucer were the brainchild of Syd Barrett fan and import vinyl fetishist Edgar Breau and a high energy improvisational rock barnstorm to boot. This expanded reissue of 1989's self titled release, draws together a 1974 studio session, a 1975 live disconcert and a 1978 single, ably showcasing the quartet's red hot improvisations, in which songs suddenly leap off into the cosmos, and quirky song-writing skills. It appears that Simply Saucer were as out of step with the general musical consensus of the mid 1970s as Cleveland misanthropes Rocket From The Tombs, and indeed the musical comparison is appropriate; Imagine a psychedelic Pere Ubu with a firecracker up its ass. Breau's switchblade guitar style and the fantastically christened Ping Romany's electronic effects whipped up a synapse-assaulting maelstrom on the likes of Nazi Apocalypse, Dance the Mutation and the preposterously ambitious Here come the Cyborgs (parts 1 and 2). Check out those titles! On the live material included here, we have the insane juxtaposition of the Chrome like acid punk guitar soloing on Illegal Bodies and the smattering of polite applause that follows. The three people that seem to have composed the Jackson Square Rooftop stage audience that night in 1975 clearly enjoyed something a world away from the likes of the Eagles. As the musical zeitgeist evolved again in the late '70s, Simply Saucer were slightly more in step with the spirit of the age with a series of Edgar Breau's shorter, song-based compositions recorded following the departure of Moog mentalist Romany. This later incarnation is represented here with a clutch of live material, studio rehearsals and the aforementioned sole 'official' release of 1978's 7" single. She's a Dog and I Can Change My Mind are catchy and angular punk pop gems, complete with the latter's infectious Lou Reed yelps over the instrumental breaks. This superb reissue confirms Simply Saucer's legendary status as one of the 'missing link' acts, alongside The Pink Fairies, that bridge the gap between punk and psychedelia, their legacy alive and well in the audacious guitar throttling of the likes of Japan's High Rise.

Simon Berkovitch
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003

back