Exposé Online banner

Soft Hearted Scientists — The Slow Cyclone
(The Hip Replacement B00MAL0W2I, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-24

The Slow Cyclone Cover art

Welsh pop-psych rockers Soft Hearted Scientists return this September with their sixth album The Slow Cyclone. Their approach to this new release is very interesting. Clocking in at 57 minutes, The Slow Cyclone is an ambitious song cycle of 24 tracks (full length songs, instrumentals, and tiny interludes) divided into four groups of six tracks. The Scientists intentionally recorded this disc as “mid fi” in three different home studios, rather than produce a clean and highly polished sound. So there are little real life touches peppered throughout like random coughs, count ins, and other interruptions that contribute to the charm of the music. The tiny interludes are really too short to notice (10 – 20 seconds). So the first track that grabbed my attention was the instrumental “Flying Horses” with its pulsating synths and beautiful surreal sense of a carousel. Some of the songs contain repeated chanting of one or two lines, while others contain pleasant harmonies and catchy melodies. “Drifting Away” is a song that does feel like you are drifting and for some obscure reason it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. “Hermit Crab” is a cute children’s song that could have been on Donovan’s 1971 album HMS Donovan. Another song of note is “Away” with its acoustic and electric guitars, washes of sound, and vocal harmonies that create a relaxing and floating mood. There are so many different little gems on this disc, it is difficult to call them all out in a review. One song that is entirely different from the rest is “Robots Remember.” Starting with a mechanical analog drum machine it morphs into a calypso – Kraftwerk song of all things! It is only a three minute song, but grows on you to the point where you feel compelled to sing along. And the disc closes with an otherworldly and melancholic song “Before I Was Born.” So like any good scientists, they continue to experiment and test their hypotheses to refine their art.


Filed under: Audio, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Soft Hearted Scientists, Nathan Hall / Sinister Locals

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Scaramouche - Scaramouche – Here is another one of those total obscurities that Musea has a knack for unearthing, others in recent memory being Flyte, Ivory, and Tibet — one-shots that came and went before most ever knew they...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues