All a Stagger- In Sight of Earshot
(Fragment Music CLOD21)

From Aural Innovations #39 (May 2008)

All a Stagger is (were?) a UK psych band. This release features tracks recorded live without overdubs from 1999 and 2000. Richard Burchnell-Winter, Clive Richards and Graham Wieland make up the core of this band and they are joined by many other people in these various rock jams. Aural Innovations reviewed one of their other releases back in 2002. This appears to be more from some of the era of jam sessions. Like was mentioned in that review, the guitars and synths are often set in the background compared to the drums and vocals (when there are any). The opening track, Out There Somewhere, is a 10 minute jam with some fine guitar soloing and pretty spaced out at times. Shrouded is next and the band has expanded from 5 to 8 members and Charlie Russell sings lead vocal. It is a slow moving jam and nothing much happens on this track. Suspension is next is another pretty laid back jam and not really going anywhere interesting. Very slow and stoned music for most of the way and then it picks up ¾ of the way through and they are jamming. Drop Out is next and pretty mellow, almost a dub like groove but not quite there. Farewell the Night fades in and keeps the vibes low down and psychy. Feed the Heat has Charlie fully driving the band forward as they find a cool groove. Too bad this one gets cut short as they were really going here. Hang on in There has a bit darker spacey side to it but stays pretty laid back. Pity the guitar that is playing the cool almost eastern line is way in the back of the sound. What the ? brings Charlie back and features some more psyched out guitar and synths as the band freaks out a bit more. Life Vessel ends the CD and is a strange mysterious track with an eastern style guitar and Charlie really pours himself into this one. The first and the last tracks on this CD are probably the best ones. Sometimes this band reminds me of the Here and Now band but more experimental, stoned and less focused.. Interesting.

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Reviewed by Scott Heller

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