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Sciflyer - Fair Weather Karma

  by Emma Haigh

published: 11 / 4 / 2004

Sciflyer - Fair Weather Karma
Label: Clairecords
Format: CD


Flawed, but impressive "space-surf bliss-pop and psyche-fuzzed hyper-drive " on long-awaited debut album from post rock trio, Sciflyer

Comprised of Steve Kennedy on guitar and Kim Kennedy on bass, married by law and by their love of low-scale noize, and Roger Chandler on drums, Sciflyer’s debut album 'Fair Weather Karma' is deceptively spacious. Vocals filter in and out beneath the pedals and reverb, virtually hidden and so quiet you could mistake them for supporting sound bites. When you do finally get to the lyrics, if you can suss them out from the rinse, fade, repeat, it’s not so much that they are particularly challenging, or even particularly coherent. Rather there is a openly ingenuous quality that wilfully creates a desire to cradle Kennedy in your arms and tell him the world won’t hurt him. Whereas their previous EPs were recorded and mixed on a four-track cassette deck and a four-track reel-to-reel, the LP had the additional studio support from the likes of Matt Pucci and Scott Solter. The result is a light and poppy mosaic that runs carefree and shrouded by fog, and a wealth of hyphened adjectives to be abused. From the spacey dreamscape of 'Come Up to My Cloud', to the quantum apparition of 'Like an Ion' the California trio’s blend of space-surf bliss-pop and psyche-fuzzed hyper-drive hinges on low throbbing basslines, swirling electro-manipulation, and punctuated drums bent by subtle distortion. It is only on tracks like 'Letting Go of Everything' and 'Burn and Sell' that they end up letting themselves down. 'Letting Go' has a backing track that sounds like it would be more at home in a corporate elevator; while 'Burn and Sell 'is unfortunately heavy, and would be more accurately titled 'Charred and Flogged'. That said, there is enough authenticity to grab even the most cynical of observers. While this isn’t necessarily my usual tipple, the very fact Sciflyer chose to stare avidly at their retro Puma’s over an at home eight-track to create the decidedly lo-fi 'Fair Weather Karma' just made me gleeful. The album’s been on repeat and I’m more acquainted with the supple strength and London-tinge of pressed green suede than ever.

Track Listing:-
1 Barnstorm
2 Burn and Sell
3 You're From the Ocean
4 Burning Down the House
5 Come Up to My Cloud
6 Like an Ion
7 Alpha Centauri
8 Letting Go of Everything
9 (reprise)

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