Charlie Dubuc (vocals/guitar), Mike Horvath (bass/vocals) and Rj O'Neil (drums) are Echo Lad.
We reviewed their previous eponymous release which we held in high regard and now they are back with Dusking.
The band makes you realize the somewhat unlimited potential a three-piece can bring to the table. I don’t mind a three chord, 4/4 timing kind of stripped down rock in the spirit of Nirvana or The White Stripes. That being said bands like Echo Lad bring a whole different approach to layers and dynamics that a rock outfit can bring. I’d love to see how the band pulls this off live.
The band gets going with “Spirit Image” which is a bit of an intro. There are some synths on this song, a sort of backward type effect which are juxtaposed against the organic drums and bass. It’s a great groove that I’m sure they could have gone much longer but I appreciated the brevity.
The band starts to crush on “Ambler.” There is such a perfect blend of technical skill and aesthetics here. It’s like an indie rock song with a more prog based technical skill. The band is loose but tight. You can hear the swing of jazz. It reminded me of Dismemberment Plan. It’s the vocals that bring the catchy melodies to the song. As the song goes to its last minute I was more than impressed. Is Dubuc singing and playing at the same time?
“Where Has It Gone” hits a lot of the same points. The band does unleash some new textures and tones. There is this guitar distortion they find which covers the chorus that sounds like it's being slowly ripped apart.
The band brings up the energy and perhaps is even more technical on “It's The Weather.” I liked the groove here and it reminded me of the band Menomena. There are tempo and melodic changes and even a breakdown section that rings of Primus. The band tear it up to the point of absurdity on “Super Stereogram.” I was having a hard time keeping up with the music mentally - I couldn’t imagine attempting to play it. “Dusking” is a slow burn which is a bit like one giant crescendo.
“Mothra” is a song that deserves the title epic. I don’t just say that because of its almost eight-minute length but because of the amount they fit into that eight minutes. It’s a dynamic, roller coaster ride that is best just experienced.
Echo Lad is an absolutely killer indie rock band. The band slays making it a near perfect marriage of technical skill and creative structure. Highly recommended.
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