CD Review

Echo Us – “Absolute Probability”

By Marcus Pan

Absolute ProbabilityA one-man band steps up to the plate today – Ethan Matthews and his band of Echo Us. Matter of fact, he’s 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.

Contact Information:
Echo Us
Post: PO Box 8751, Portland, OR, 07207-8752, USA
Phone: (503) 961-4964
E-Mail: info@absoluteprobability.com
Web: www.absoluteprobability.com

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