Echo Us Absolute Probability
By Marcus Pan
A one-man band steps up to the plate today
Ethan Matthews and his band of Echo Us. Matter of fact, hes
designed his packaging, pressed the CD and mixed everything as well, from what
I can tell. So here we go
The CD opens very computer-dynamically with a fading
electronic soundscape that falls away into strong weirdness, rising and falling
until it smoothes out. It tickles and breathes about a bit until the opening of
Dreaming where the real music on Absolute Probability begins. A very
comfortable song which grows as it goes, adding layers of melody, vocals and
guitar as it increases in scope. It's well layed out, but lacks the punch one
would expect from a CD opener and ends up somewhat forgettable.
As we get towards the center of Absolute Probability
things pick up dramatically. Directed Study relies heavily on a dirty
drum 'n bass track with rapped lyrics over top. As the track continues the
excellently done rhythm is cleaned up and gets more pieces added to it until
you are forced to notice just how well done the stick-clack stylings are done
throughout. With a church-like opening, Her Heart's Army / White
Wednesday surprises you with a solid techno slicing that kicks the track up
a notch into stompy territory. The introduction of the chimey melodies and
vocals steals from the power of the simple techno riff, however, and brings the
song to a near crawl. By the time we've moved into the track somewhat, that
exciting riff has all but evaporated. The second half of this track, the
White Wednesday instrumental, simply couldn't engage my interest.
Who Loves You, on the other hand, is a strikingly New
Orderish piece with smooth melodies and synthetic overtones. Even the voice
gets strikingly close to New Order in its lyrical execution. It's quite a good
track, if a little lost surrounded by the humdrum around it. To Save You
on track six is a bubbly, underwatery sounding piece with floaty vocals and
simple yet well executed music. The New Order comparison remains valid.
Final result upon listening to Absolute Probability a
dozen or so times is that there are some shining gems hidden away here, tucked
about. To Save You, Who Loves You and the opening of Her Heart's
Army or drum track to Directed Study perhaps. But overall the CD
comes off a bit forgetful, offering nothing too refreshing.
PO Box 8751, Portland, OR, 07207-8752, USA
Phone: (503) 961-4964
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