Toshack Highway vs. Sianspheric Magnetic Morning / Aspirin Age

A mutual respect among parallel spirits, Toshack Highway (aka Adam Franklin of Swervedriver) and Sianspheric, have brought forth this very impressive double mini-album (using two discs to release this split record, a refreshing alternative for packaging). Close admirers of each other through the years, these two sonically defiant acts deliver five tracks apiece, avoiding their original idea of releasing this as a split seven-inch. Toshack Highway, easily classed as a mellower version of the potentially deafening Swervedriver, still sees Franklin and co. pushing the boundaries of mind-expansion via an acoustic guitar. The folky approach displays his incredibly distinct guitar playing that conjures up great memories from the past. "The Streets That Spin Off” could easily be blown apart by some distortion and wah, but he subtly manages to keep it graceful, showing his newfound control. Franklin even reintroduces a Swervedriver tune, "The Sounds and The Times,” giving it a modest treatment and new spin. Sianspheric, as well, turn down the volume for most of their duties, but keep the effects pedals in check to continue making their gloriously blissful space rock. "Beneath The Ocean Floor” is a vapour trail of tranquillity that floats along with the clouds, while "This All Happened,” the only moment where the band turn it up to "11,” delivers a tune not unlike their heroes, Franklin’s former band. Their title track is a fittingly slow burning, salty salute emphasised with a funereal organ, to end everything off. This longed-for idea comes off as a shining success. (Sonic Unyon)