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Thread: The Syn

  1. #1
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    The Syn

    Any fans of the 21st c. reformed The Syn?

    I love Cathedral of Love, fantastic song.

  2. #2
    I just listened to this a couple weeks ago. Saw them in NYC at B.B. King's in 2005 or 2006. For the most part, I think the music is good, but Nardelli's lead vocals are terrible. He's s got a whispery, raspy delivery with no ability to hold a note. On top of all that, he sings with a distinct accent a la Nick Barrett, which I can't stand. Squire's vocals are quite good, especially on the opening track "Breaking Down Walls," and his Rick riffs and bass lines are prevalent. YMMV.

  3. #3
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dregsfan View Post
    I just listened to this a couple weeks ago. Saw them in NYC at B.B. King's in 2005 or 2006. For the most part, I think the music is good, but Nardelli's lead vocals are terrible. He's s got a whispery, raspy delivery with no ability to hold a note. On top of all that, he sings with a distinct accent a la Nick Barrett, which I can't stand. Squire's vocals are quite good, especially on the opening track "Breaking Down Walls," and his Rick riffs and bass lines are prevalent. YMMV.
    Chris and Alan behaved like pros throughout that entire period (and some of the music isn't bad if you are so inclined). It's just too bad the same couldn't be said about Nardelli.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  4. #4
    I think the best thing about the Syn reunion is the live DVD (which I believe includes the whole album and more). Better band (w/Alan White), .stronger performances, Nardelli sings better, and you get Chris' Hendrix story. I was at the show and thought it was great, though you cant tell from the DVD that it was barely 1/2 full.

  5. #5
    Wasn't there a Nardelli / Syn project in the works with the guys from Moon Safari?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXymphonia View Post
    Wasn't there a Nardelli / Syn project in the works with the guys from Moon Safari?
    IIRC there were several different Syns after Squire/White's departures where Nardelli was the only original member. I think he pretty much got into serious disagreements with every line-up, necessitating new members on a regular basis.

    I quite liked the first Syn reunion disc though. Will give it a spin this afternoon.

  7. #7
    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    I got a nice Syn T-shirt at Rosfest.

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    here's my review of “syndestructible” on progarchives.com. i wrote it shortly after its release and the album has since become a classic grower. time has not really raised or lowered the mark but i keep revisiting and enjoying.

    this album is quite a disappointment. if i had reviewed it a few weeks earlier i might have only awarded it a 2/5 but it has sat with me for a little longer as i was eager to find something that i might enjoy. and – lo and behold – i did. "cathedral of love" is an excellent song, everyone's playing is consummate yet tastefully restrained and the whole idea of reforming a long forgotten band just for a laugh that has only ever existed as a historic footnote to the mighty YES really appealed to me.

    however, there are also a few things that have obviously gone wrong. the entire album sounds awfully polished. i was probably expecting the wrong thing – a bold revisiting of the garage-y late-60's psych-style that SYN embraced during their first time around the block – but a lot of this sounds like latter-day YES, YESwest, conspiracy, world trade, you name it. calling themselves "prog modernists", this is rather the opposite. secondly, one can truly hear that steve nardelli has not sung in a band for approaching 40 years. his husky baritone sounds awfully flat and to hear him struggle through the otherwise tepid "city of dreams" is a painful experience.

    the true bonus of "syndestructible" is the gentleman, we have all come to see and hear anyway. chris squire's b-vox are as strong and resonant as ever (listen to his harmonizing throughout the album, especially the aforementioned "cathedral") and he still delivers the bass lines as only he can. but the fact, that he's only playing second fiddle is hard to stomach. squire is obviously still interested in progressing and moving on musically, but just why he keeps hiding behind these slightly inconsequential band projects is beyond me. how about a true solo album next time around, chris? if you need further convincement, read the reviews for "fish out of water" on this very site and anywhere else...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Any fans of the 21st c. reformed The Syn?

    I love Cathedral of Love, fantastic song.
    Yes, much enjoyed Syndestructible and the earlier Banks/Nardelli/Johnson tracks. But Nardelli is a nightmare and that was the end of that. (Well, Nardelli is still using The Syn name. He's been promising a project with Moon Safari for ages. When it was announced, half of ProgressiveEars posted to warn Moon Safari away from the venture!) The real successor albums to Syndestructible were the Xmas album Chris Squire's Swiss Choir and Squackett's A Life Within a Day.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    The real successor albums to Syndestructible were the Xmas album Chris Squire's Swiss Choir and Squackett's A Life Within a Day.
    Very much this.

    Nardelli seemed like a bit of a passenger on Syndestructible, to be honest, even though his songwriting was central to it. The Squire/Johnson/Stacey brothers lineup, however, had the feel of a band that just needed to find a good singer to become something special. I suppose the Stacey brothers would never commit to an actual band situation since they're session guys. You're right, though, Squackett mines much of the same vein as Syndestructible did. I hope they are able to follow up with another album eventually.

    As a friend of Peter Banks, I was prepared to hate Syndestructible with a passion, but it's really a pretty solid album, albeit a complete retro 1978-79 moment down to the smallest production details. It really sounds like what a proper late '70s follow-up to Fish Out of Water should have been.

  11. #11
    I saw The Syn at the new Marquee in London some 6 - 7 years back, I think it was a showcase gig to push the album (have to thank a certain Mr Roldan for organising the tickets for that one). Squire was there, but my memories are fairly hazy...sure I did a review of it, but cannot find it.

    Not sure if others agree, but I always got the impression this was Squire doing a favour for a friend, playing on the album, doing a few gigs and then moving on. I don't really think he intended to be involved long-term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mail View Post
    Not sure if others agree, but I always got the impression this was Squire doing a favour for a friend, playing on the album, doing a few gigs and then moving on. I don't really think he intended to be involved long-term.
    squire did the US tour (w./ alan white and shaun theriot replacing the stacey bros.) in 2006. around that time a report of very peculiar ferocity appeared that he has left the SYN and (to paraphrase) “has no intention to work with them again”, or something to that extent. that's that, then.

  13. #13
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dregsfan View Post
    For the most part, I think the music is good, but Nardelli's lead vocals are terrible. He's s got a whispery, raspy delivery with no ability to hold a note. On top of all that, he sings with a distinct accent a la Nick Barrett, which I can't stand.
    Do you you like SOME distinct accents? If not, that would seem kind of strange. IMO there are lots of singers with distinct accents that sound great, like Bowie, Phil Collins, Fish, etc. I also like Nick Barret's Boise, and also Les Dugen from Aragon. Most Euroean and South American accents are fine too. Or are some just too extreme for you?

  14. #14
    From what I can see from Steve's Facebook posts, The Syn project with Moon Safari is still alive.

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    That whole Syn/Umbrello thing was a bit odd - all these big announcements about Umbrello (What exactly did they do?), the band splitting up every time they toured and squabbles over album releases... I never really worked out what was going on. I quite liked the albums, though.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mail View Post
    Not sure if others agree, but I always got the impression this was Squire doing a favour for a friend, playing on the album, doing a few gigs and then moving on. I don't really think he intended to be involved long-term.
    No, Squire was committed to the endeavour, until Nardelli got too much and he bailed.

    Henry
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    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Harbottle View Post
    That whole Syn/Umbrello thing was a bit odd - all these big announcements about Umbrello (What exactly did they do?), the band splitting up every time they toured and squabbles over album releases... I never really worked out what was going on. I quite liked the albums, though.
    All those big announcements were whoppers from Nardelli. The line-ups kept splitting because people kept realising what Nardelli is like, normally when he failed to pay them.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hamer View Post
    From what I can see from Steve's Facebook posts, The Syn project with Moon Safari is still alive.
    I wouldn't trust anything Nardelli says. The project with Moon Safari appears to have done some recordings, but is about 2 years behind schedule. I note Moon Safari never talk about it. It may appear: Nardelli is persistent.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    All those big announcements were whoppers from Nardelli. The line-ups kept splitting because people kept realising what Nardelli is like, normally when he failed to pay them.

    Henry
    Didn't he sign one of the alt.music.yes regulars to a record deal with Umbrello that resulted in an album or two? Other than that, the entire Nardelli enterprise seemed like smoke and mirrors. I've often wondered if he applied the same ethics during his business career.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    Didn't he sign one of the alt.music.yes regulars to a record deal with Umbrello that resulted in an album or two? Other than that, the entire Nardelli enterprise seemed like smoke and mirrors. I've often wondered if he applied the same ethics during his business career.
    One album, yes. Kurt Michaels.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Having recently listened to Syndestructible again I think it's far better than Heaven and Earth, not that that's saying much.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I wouldn't trust anything Nardelli says. The project with Moon Safari appears to have done some recordings, but is about 2 years behind schedule. I note Moon Safari never talk about it. It may appear: Nardelli is persistent.

    Henry
    Well here's a statement from the Moon Safari camp then

    The project is still in the works, but due to the work load of both parties, with Moon Safari playing live and recording new material while working day time jobs and Nardelli working on his projects outside of music, there hasn't been enough time left to get together and start recording for real.

    The tracks are done and sound fantastic, we just need to find a space in our schedules to enter the studio. Nothing more dramatic than that!

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias / Moon Safari View Post
    Well here's a statement from the Moon Safari camp then

    The project is still in the works, but due to the work load of both parties, with Moon Safari playing live and recording new material while working day time jobs and Nardelli working on his projects outside of music, there hasn't been enough time left to get together and start recording for real.

    The tracks are done and sound fantastic, we just need to find a space in our schedules to enter the studio. Nothing more dramatic than that!
    That's good to know a decent album is on its way thanks! Looking forward to it whenever it's released.

  24. #24
    I saw The Syn in Baltimore in 2009. The songs didn't do anything for me, but what a band! Francis Dunnery on guitar, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Paul Ramsey (Echolyn) on drums
    and Brett Kull (Echolyn) on guitar. I really wish this quartet had done their own project apart from the Syn.

  25. #25
    Member Adrian's Avatar
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    ^ I thought I remembered reading that a couple of guys from Echolyn had been involved with the Syn at some point. Wasn't Chris Squire telling people not to buy one of the Syn albums, because he or someone else who appeared on the album hadn't authorized its release?

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