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Echorev

Find North

(Monkey Rock; US: 13 Sep 2011; UK: Import)

Nothing Too Memorable

Echorev strives for quiet intensity, building its songs around male vocals and a restrained sonic palette of guitar twang and twitchy drums. Sometimes this works, as on album opener “Still,” which manages to create a sense of echoey airiness. Elsewhere, synthesized percussive sounds (“Cycles of Dreamers”) and processed vocals (“The Light”) lend a cool distance to the tunes. Ultimately, though, there’s not enough going on in these songs to make them compelling. The vocals tend toward the same breathy intensity throughout, and the band never quite rises out of its languid semi-torpor. “Not Running Away” is probably the liveliest song on the album, showing up late in the game to inject some surprising pop sensibility into the proceedings, but it’s not enough to resuscitate what is a fairly lethargic album. At just eight songs, the record doesn’t drag enough to grow dull, but neither is it lively enough to provoke much interest.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Echorev - "Cycles of Dreamers"
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