What happens when a post-punk band decides to add a brass section to their music? Well you can find out when listening to Echolocation’s fifth album Empire Blood & Bones. Coming off their more than impressive fourth album Softer the band delivers a unique sound you don’t want to miss on Empire Blood & Bones.
To limit this band to simply post-punk wouldn’t be right. The band is a couple of steps above a band that simply reinforces the stereotypes of the genre that was started decades ago. For starters there are elements of a band like Primal Scream in the music. This makes sense if you have done your homework and understand that bands like Joy Division, New Order, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine all come from the same strain.
The songs are refreshing in that you aren't quite sure what’s around the corner. Suffice it to say I was never expecting hip-hop but wasn’t ever sure of the palette of sounds the band was going to present to me. Peter Ingram (vocals) has a thick English accent that is kicking. He does a lot of singing that veers towards talking on this album and don’t ask me why but his accent makes this style work just fine.
After a short intro the band goes into a great song entitled “Barking up the wrong tree.” Now this song has a very post-punk Joy Division type vibe in a lot of ways but it's the piano and horns that give it such a unique vibe. The band goes into all sorts of interesting directions. “Seduction Hour” is all about atmosphere but I wouldn't call it ambient while “Autonomy” has elements of free jazz.
“Tribute to the Martyrs” feels like it could fall apart at any moment and that's why it's so good. The song is actually quite moving.They close with “B.F.F” which ends on a pretty epic high note.
Echolocation is a band that is greatly under-appreciated. It actually makes sense when we live in a world where so much predictable polished pop is selling out arenas. Empire Blood & Bones is an exceptional album. It’s original yet borrows from the past in seamless and natural evolution.
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