Major Stars Syntoptikon

Bostonians Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar have enjoyed a lengthy partnership in guitar scree beginning in the ’80s as Crystalized Movements. That group eventually morphed into Magic Hour with the addition of ex-Galaxie 500 rhythm section Damon and Naomi. When that duo embarked on their own separate project, Rogers and Biggar enlisted bassist Tom Leonard and drummer Dave Lynch to form Major Stars. Syntoptikon is their fifth release and first for Important Records, marking also a line-up shift that sees Leonard moving over to guitar (making it three) and the addition of Sandra Barrett on vocals. The Major Stars sound has always been rooted in the heavy psychedelic jamming of Rogers and Biggar (who goes by the name Kate Village after their Twisted Village label). Their psychedelia, however, shares more with Acid Mothers Temple or the more outré Bevis Frond than, say, Grateful Dead. The rhythm section, now comprised of Dave Dougan and Casey Keenan, do their best to keep things nailed down and stand back out of the way while the three guitarists set their controls for the hearts of Makoto Kawabata. Barrett’s vocals are clear and somewhat flat, ultimately only garnishing the heaping bowls of guitar stew. (Important)