Five by Echodrone (Saint Marie Records)
The San Francisco quartet Echodrone begins Five with Disparate Measures, sounding for all the world like a song you’d hear during Blade Runner with the sci-fi keyboards, deep bass pads, glitchy percussion, softly sang vocals and buried scratchy guitar textures. Falling From Planes is less menacing yet no less beguiling. I envision a romantic comedy where boy meets girl, girl shuns guy then spends the rest of the movie trying to get him back after realizing he’s the one for her. The song starts out quiet and builds to a climax of distorted guitars, burbling synths and wordless chanted vocals as the couple float off to uncharted territory, two hearts beating as one. The aptly named NoiseBed opens with a minute of churning guitars and synths before slowing down, introducing Rachel Lopez’s seductive vocals, then blending in electronic drum beats and overpowering the mix with those crushing guitars again. Glacial Place sets a deceptive mid-tempo pace, echoing and buzzing guitar parts dropping in and out as Eugene Suh and Lopez’s vocals dance around each other. You’ll be left a blissed out mess after the spacey synths, voices and piles of overdriven guitars come crashing down at the end of the song.
After a relaxing Interlude Collage Echodrone hit us with the most excellent and epic When The Two Ends Meet. Expect this to be on the their signature songs in the coming years. Lopez takes lead vocals at the start of Motion Pictures, trading off with Suh, then melding together, their vocals taking on more presence as the song progresses to a dramatic and powerful conclusion. Chrome has just a scent of New Order’s Elegia with its portentous keyboard pattern and intense white noise guitar squall, Lopez and Suh singing compellingly, then softly together as the tempo slowly builds and the guitars pile up then quickly dissipate into echoes and ghostly tones.
Five closes with Octopussy, an upbeat yet wistful song with a thick wall of guitar buzz and percolating electronics, Suh and Lopez creating a colorful and uplifting feeling in their combined delivery.
Brandon Dudley – Bass
Eugene Suh – Guitar/Vocals/Synths
Jim Hrabak – Electronics/Rhythms
Mike Funk – Drums/Rhythms
Rachel Lopez – Vocals