The dead air surrounding the shreds of melody and Mat Sweet's voice on Boduf Songs' early albums felt like it contained the weight of the world. However, on Burnt Up on Re-Entry, he's concerned with a different kind of space. As on his brilliant 2010 album This Alone Above All Else in Spite of Everything, Sweet adds more accompaniment to his compelling whispers, incorporating searing guitars and chittering electronics that suggest he's singing from a spacecraft, far from any other living beings. Burnt Up on Re-Entry begins with its boldest departure: "Fiery the Angels Fell" swells into thrash-worthy riffs as it pulses along to a brisk beat that feels twice as fast as any of Boduf Songs' previous tracks.
The solo career of this great rock artist took awhile to gather some steam; his 1976 album, Cardiff Rose, showed that with at least some consistent production and a tight backing ensemble, he could put across a powerful musical vision without having to rely totally on re-creating the sound of the Byrds. For this 1974 album his focus is as wandering as a glaucoma patient who has just gone through a two-hour field test. Many different influences come into his musical world, like strange cooks passing through a kitchen and dropping odd things into the stew.
Melodic, meandering synths, thick bass, live down tempo drums and percussion - Re:sonate brings together the smooth analog mastery of Pete Namlook and the dubby, exploratory 'home grown' sounds of Gaudi. The result is one with an ambient aesthetic veering off on a truly unique tangent. Repetition of the dominant patterns on Re:sonate creates a hypnotic familiarity, different layers dropping in and out, echoing congas, various peripheral effects enlivening the surface.
The original classic String Driven Thing lineup may have disintegrated in at the end of 1973, but violinist Graham Smith soldiered on, re-forming the band and releasing two further albums, neither of which had much of anything to do with the original band and should be approached for what they were – the legacy of a band that simply had the same name as another one, because that is as far as the similarity goes. Not that this is a bad thing. Following firmly in the footsteps of its predecessor, Keep Yer ‘And on It is packed with catchy hooks, and the sound is rich throughout.