Review Revue: Guild of the Temporal Adventurers – Guild of the Temporal Adventurers

Wow, this is perhaps the least fruitful Google search I’ve ever done. A search for the title and artist of this particular album yields a scant 16 hits.

Oh, never mind. I just foolishly searched for what had been written on the label of this album by the fine people at KCMU. Turns out, at least according to the Internet, this album/band is actually “The Guild of Temporal Adventurers,” which Google search yields about 1000 times the previous one. (Most of the hits that came up for the wrong title were for radio playlists, which leads me to wonder if there was a radio promo company pushing this record with a misprinted onesheet back in the day.)

Whatever it is, most people credit this album to Kendra Smith (rather than the whole guildy thing), formerly of Dream Syndicate and Opal, and latterly of just plain old Kendra Smith, and even more latterly of “what the heck has she been up to for the past 15-odd years?”

Regardless of their articular confusion, KCMU seemed to adore this album. These reviews are so gushing and evocative I had to track it down for myself (some of those search results are helpful in that regard). I’m just a few minutes in, but it sounds like a winner so far. It’s really too bad we haven’t heard more from Ms. Smith and/or her Adventurers in so very long.

“Kendra Smith from Opal’s new band. Beautiful stuff. I wish she were a little more prolific though!” [Keep wishin’ there, pal.]

“Fuck yes. The hum on those guitars.”

“2.3 is quite nice.”

“1.1 is quite beautiful, too.”

“‘Wheel of the Law’ is taut, mystical and beautiful — a song worthy of the band name (and album cover…)”

“Not as psychedelic as Opal, but I like this better than David Roback’s band, Mazzy Star. Hope just doesn’t have a voice as deep & as smooth as Kendra’s. Kendra’s turning into more of a June Tabor/Marianne Faithful/Nico-type vocalist as she gest older. Very sublime. Folky/Middle Eastern-soungind stuff w/weird instrumental bits between songs. Not a lot here, but enuf fer H, methinks. (Not grungy!)”

“2-1 originally from Can.”

“1-3 skips at the start… cue carefully!”

“I like this a lot too, but I like Hope’s twang!”

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  1. John Kew
    Posted November 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Here is an excellent article on her life. She sort of disappeared into a cabin in Northern California with very little electricity, found a pump organ and this album is the result.

    cmj article

  2. M Mac
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a fan of Kendra Smith for a few years now. Opal (her earlier band which
    “turned into” to Mazzy Star) is really overlooked.
    Kendra is the real deal. From her work with Dream Syndicate to all of her solo work. A true cornerstone of an artist.
    I prefer her over Hope Sandoval actually – less posing.

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