Plying their trade in the fertile San Francisco scene of the late '60s, Crystal Syphon's name was only known to aficionados through viewing copies of old SF gig posters and through the index of bands at the back of Ralph Gleason's book on the rise of Jefferson Airplane. Then both their studio and live 1967-1969 archival recordings were discovered that replaced the imagination with true grooves in 2012 and 2015 with the release of 2 LPs on Roaratorio Records.
Trying to find comparison with other Bay area bands from that era has proven a bit fruitless as they don't specifically evoke any of the heavy hitters of the era. They have a bit of a dreamy, stoned vibe with some great harmonies and some have compared their style to Quicksilver Messenger Service (John Cipollina was their idol!!) as well as H.P. Lovecraft. As with so many bands of the era, the draft, time and declining fortunes signaled the end of the band. There is some great guitar work alongside the Farfisa organ in the extended jams, and fans of the west-coast sound should delight in these recordings.
Disc 1: Family Evil
1)Marcy, Your Eyes 2) Paradise 3) Have More Of Everything 4) Try Something Different 5) Fuzzy And Jose 6) ) Are You Dead Yet? 7) In My Mind 8) Family Evil + 9) Fails To Shine+ 10) Winter Is Cold+ 11) Winter Is Cold+++
Total Time- 53:16
Disc 2- Elephant Ball
1) Dawn Sermon 2) For All Of My Life 3) Tell Her For Me 4) Elephant Ball++ 5) Sing To Me++
6) It’s Winter++ 7) Snow Falls++ 8) Don’t Fall Brother++ 9) There Is Light There++
Total Time- 39:35
+ Live at The Fillmore West, 21 January, 1968
++ Live at Fillmore West, 18 November, 1969
+++ Recorded 2008