Anomalies by SPC ECO (Saint Marie Records)
There aren’t many musicians that continue their career with their daughter as their partner but Dean Garcia has. Formerly part of Curve with singer Toni Halliday, Garcia has been working with his daughter Rose Berlin for several years as SPC ECO. The Garcias’ muse on Anomalies takes them to some brighter places, after visiting more dark and dubby terrain and is their most varied album in years.
Anomalies opens with Out of My System, pleasant keys and Rose’s lovely singing in the verses is met by a more dangerous beat and distorted synths in the choruses, inviting you to move your body while trying to understand Rose’s lyrics at the same time. On Incomplete, Rose drags out her words over slow yet tough beats and piano, Dean creating tension, yet only giving us release at the very end. On Bare To Lie Dean shifts into Massive Attack territory with tense synth pulses and a hard beat, chopping Rose’s vocals a little, but for the chorus she soars as the beats melt away.
For the next two songs, Dean showcases Rose’s vocals in the best way. On Your Own Way she’s the centerpiece, drawing out her words to the beat, becoming another instrument in the song, then wistfully singing “You’re alright in your own way” as warm bass surrounds her, upbeat drums and positive pianos buoy her up. This is a song sure to put a grin on your lips and a tear in your eye. Silent Maybe dries those tears and puts some grit in the skin with the toughest beats on the album and sparkling synths fluttering around Rose who sings with passion and power. The dubby piano and drilling sounds at the end just heat the blood even more.
Anomalies closes with False Start, light on lyrics, with Rose’s voice buried in the mix, cooing and oohing amongst a driving rock beat, dirty guitar textures, Dean’s melodic bass playing and heavenly keys to match Rose’s angelic voice.
Anomalies is a beautiful, tough, emotional album, with more percussion than heard in years, a sign that Dean and Rose are finding their footing and growing into the SPC ECO sound and whetting our appetites for more music to come.
(by Bret Miller)