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Toshack Highway/Sianspheric | Magnetic Morning/Aspirin Age (Sonic Unyon)
A tastefully packaged, double CD EP that reunites Canada's Sianspheric with Adam Franklin's Toshack Highway, after Franklin's Swervedriver shared a stage with the Canadians back in '98. Joined on this outing by Charlie Francis (bass and keyboards) and drummer Jeff Townsin, Franklin's latest is a melodic, impeccably arranged, largely acoustic set distinguished by his authoritative, gravel-edged voice and some effective production flourishes that keep predictability at bay.
Sianspheric take a more laid-back approach, with a spacier, reverb-friendly mix, Sean Ramsay's voice wallowing amid the murk, like the aural equivalent of a lava lamp, refusing to find solid ground. It's all done with mirrors and delay pedals. And then This All Happened rips the lid off and there's an almighty mess to clean up before mother gets home.

Matt Dornan
June-July 2003

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