Sirens and Satellites by SPC ECO (Saint Marie Records)
SPC ECO is the band created by former Curve architect Dean Garcia and Dean’s daughter Rose Berlin. Father and daughter have been making music together ever since Rose displayed singing talent as a baby. As SPC ECO they make music for themselves, at their own pace, without label support. Musically, at least on the new album Sirens and Satellites, this is like I imagined it would: a further evolution of the Curve sound (or I should say the Garcia Sound). The overarching feel is fire and ice, with Rose’s vocals icy beauty and Garcia and friends offering the heat and sizzle from guitar textures, synths and usually midtempo percussion. Fallen Stars will bring chills up your spine upon hearing the swirling, grinding and wailing guitars against thrumming bass, Rose’s voice powerful yet restrained. Delusional Waste goes to the dancefloor with a techno bass and beat, Rose’s voice ice cold, yet still inviting. Hold You Up is one of the most delicate tracks on the album, simple bass, drums, synths and voice building to a quiet yet powerful end. High On It is another dance track with pulsating beats, guitar echoes and Rose’s dancing ice queen vocals.
Songs like Zombie and The Whole Day Long are as good as anything Garcia’s done in the past, Make Me Say is brutal and bloody guitar slashes and crunchy rhythm loops, Rose purring and cooing like a mantis before taking off your head. Don’t Need Fear is a slow bass dub, guitar effects aiding Rose’s voice insinuating itself deep inside your psyche. Tweet Fields At Night opens pleasantly with sweet vocals and feathery synths, A trip-hop beat kicks in, joined by a uplifting guitar melodies to accompany those light synths, the loveliness of it all punctuated by a big swell of guitars and big drums, then taking the first part and dirtying it all up with distorted guitars and bass, closing with the nostalgic refrain, leaving you with a sense of wonder.
Sirens and Satellites surprises on so many levels, from their genre-blurring compositions to their juxtaposition of light and dark, fast and slow and fire and ice, the invigorating, dark, emotional and beautiful songs on Sirens and Satellites will be enjoyed, dissected, danced to and be the inspiration for many for years to come.
(by Bret Miller)