There’s a strong vein of Eighties polish crossing swords with synth-pop on the new album, Celexa Dreams, from London quartet Kyros.
Release Date: 19th June 2020
Label: White Star Records
Formats: DL / streaming / CD
Under their previous guise as Synaesthesia, Kyros released two albums – the self-titled debut (2014) and Vox Humana (2016). They’re a band with many strings to their bow from music triggered by eighties pop a to modern post-progressive and alternative rock influences. With a nod to the likes of Muse and Porcupine Tree, they’ve had the seal of approval from PROG magazine with the top spot in the Tip for 2014 and runner up in the Tip for 2016.
On the road, Kyros has added weight to their prog credentials in supporting high profile bands such as Spocks Beard, Marillion, Anathema, Bigelf and IQ. Good on paper, does the new album meet approval?
Celexa Dreams comes in the form of a selection of ‘short stories’, each working on some sort of thought-provoking lyrical concept. Topics shift from the emotional weight of working in a job you hate to commentary on the dangers of toxic internet culture and anonymity. Very topical and real-life experiences provide the fuel for the fire.
Launching with the percussion-driven opener In Motion, it sets off a busy set of songs that often burst into proud choruses. Electronic poppy vibes are never far from the surface; the boppy bouncy excursions duelling with the more ambitious. In Vantablack packs plenty into fourteen minutes with a brief mid-song break of pace that leads into a hefty neo-prog string-laden closeout. Possibly the best moment of the album.
Another highlight is the slow march of Phosphene. A dense, textural track that sees the band coming to terms with previous grudges. “I gave you all the time I had to give and now it’s no use to me” croons Adam Warne as the band discipline themselves to a steady pace in providing the backing track.
The more serious commentary on the dangers of the toxic side of internet culture and anonymity are explored in Technology Killed the Kids III which expands on the theme over ten minutes. After some of the uptempo and livelier beasts which have gone before, this is a more considered arrangement, but can’t resist a few flurries to let off some steam.
Two Frames Of Panic and UNO Attack (one that feels like the second wind has kicked in) return us to fizz and fire of the opening flurry. Her Song Is Mine ticks the big romantic ballad box, oozing a sentiment and velvet lushness. It also provides an interesting, and unexpected, album closer, rounding off a polished affair where the dynamics are constantly throwing curveballs; a switchback ride where you’re never far from a harmonic break, a guitar/synth battle or explosive keyboard patch.
Showcasing the Kyros instrumental prowess, occasional blasts of heaviness, creativity and unpredictability, Celexa Dreams does the lot.
Listen to Two Frames Of Panic from the album here:
You can read Kyros drummer, Robin Johnson’s Why I Love Rush feature on our website here.