Various Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett

Pink Floyd remain in eternal debt to founder Syd Barrett, who left his indelible mark on the band's 1967 debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. After his Mustaine-esque canning by the group, Barrett suffered a short solo career before retiring from the public eye in the mid-'70s. Like Black Holes in the Sky honours his legacy with a diverse line-up of talent. Metal heads will froth over the heavier, often-covered cuts: Kylesa's mega-psychedelic take on "Interstellar Overdrive"; Intronaut's quirky "Arnold Layne"; and Dredg's by-the-numbers "Astronomy Domine." Other tracks will leave fans wanting: Zodiak's valiant but flaccid "See Emily Play"; Jesu's sadly plodding "Chapter 24"; and Unearthly Trance's drunkenly handled "Long Gone." But the lasting charm comes from one of Barrett's unreleased gems, "Vegetable Man," and its wonderfully walking bass lines shine an optimistic light upon Kosmos, the latest sonic pursuit of Voivod's Away. Yakuza enhance "Lucifer Sam" with saxophone and varied tempos, while Giant Squid remakes "Octopus" into an unhinged juggernaut that captures Barrett's true spirit. Jarboe chooses to steer "Late Night" alongside Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," while Circle transforms the acoustic "Rats" into a lysergic country western ballad. Somewhere, Barrett is grinning broadly at Like Black Holes in the Sky, or laughing hysterically at its folly. (Dwell)