Right after releasing their self-titled debut in 2017, Little Rock, AR’s Recognizer immediately went back to the studio to begin working on their follow-up release. Their newest album This Conversation Is Echolocation sees Mike Mullins (guitar/vocals), Michael Mullens (bass) and Steve Cook (drums) coming together once again to drill into this recording their hard-hitting rock-based sounds. Those who have an ear for math-rock and psychedelic prog rock will find Recognizer’s sound just what they are looking for. With a whole lot to take in, let’s get going.
This Conversation Is Echolocation starts off with “The Panic,” where some synths greet the intro of this track. Slowly some guitar riffs make themselves known jutting in and out of this recording. The sound takes its time in evolving. A slow grooving rock-based sound soon arrives. Once the vocals hit, the band ramps up a happening indie rock and alternative flavor. The guitars were radioactive, a nice blend of hard-hitting and psychedelia. The song immediately segues to “Locus of Control,” making for a seamless transition. Immediately the reverberating guitar riffs are interchanged with a dynamic drumming beat that right away fills in the sounds. Next, more guitars make for a hard-hitting arrival as Mullins’ dynamic vocals come in for some great energy. More guitars arrive on the start of “The Takedown.” As drums set up the beat on the backdrop, Mullins’ vocals which are shouted out enthusiastically embrace an energized and driven sound. The band shows no holding back as they hit it with a hard and aggressive sound. This proved to be a highlight.
Synths join in on the synergy as guitar riffs loudly add its powerful range on “Move.” The energy turns more slow burning once Mullins’ vocals enter. This track had a more sauntering groove as slowly each instrumental came together. Guitars and synths made for an atmospheric sound towards the start of “Bite The Bullet.” Next, the sounds become more full-blown with a full band backing. The music is immediate and in-your-face. More radioactive guitar riffs sound out for a pulverizing start on “Cave-in.” Once Mullins’ shouted-out vocals enter, it certainly adds to the momentum of the music.
On “The Emperor’s New Mind,” some bass lines come in for a rhythmic pulse. Soon synths come through for a moody feel to the music. The sauntering groove continues to stay consistent as the sound of guitars arrive. What sounds like a newsreel is juxtaposed alongside the music. The band shows their range with this meandering instrumental. On “Fuse, Meet Match!” after some static the band gets right to it. The instrumentals crescendos for an energized prog-rock sound. It sounded a lot like arena rock bands from the ‘80s. The band employs a heavier rock vibe here that balances hard rock with classic rock notes. Some sparse guitars sound out on “Wait, Son.” The minimalistic approach to this track pointed to a new direction for the band. Synths in the backdrop give off an atmospheric sound as the guitar riffs continue on. Next, the band returns with a heavily syncopated beat and guitars. The groove here felt more like a slow burn as the band takes their time in setting up the sound. The band bids good-bye with this slow burning closer.
I thought the band had a great melodic pop rock sound with hints of math-rock and psychedelia in the guitar riffs. They sounded a lot like bands like Muse and Minus the Bear but with a heavier vibe that I thought a lot of fans of the aforementioned genres would grow to appreciate. I think the band does indeed further the sound they were going for and offer in their own take of different rock styles an original sound. This looks like only the beginning for the band and I look forward to any new updates down the road.
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