Echolyn had been around since forming in their hometown in Pennsylvania 26 years ago. So far, they have released nine albums. And their inspirations between the essence of Electric Light Orchestra, Wilco, Genesis, and Yes, they show no sign of stopping. Mind you, this is my introduction to the band’s music. And their new album in which it’s their tenth released this year in which they recorded back in September in 2013 and in April of this year, I Heard You Listening is a crowning experience.
The quintet brought everything on their music between the essence of Progressive, Symphonic, and Indie Rock rolled up into a blender and making it into a wonderful smoothie to drink into. Not to mention the six centerpieces on the album that will have your jaws dropped at each momentum. Sound of Bees is a waltz ballad with an alternative orchestral rock flavor to it with a soaring guitar rhythm and lead section. And I have to lyrical line “Everything’s gone/everything’s wrong/I’ll hide away/All I can hear is what’s wrong.”
Echolyn show a lot on what is going on in our lives of what is happening and forget about the bad moments and hideaway of what went horribly wrong. All This Time We’re Given is a reminiscent between the Animals-era of Pink Floyd and Air’s score to the 1999 film, The Virgin Suicides. It’s a haunting ballad done in the time signature in 4/4 as the lyrics deal with what’s to come after with nothing left to show as Messenger of All’s Right in which it’s the opening track starts with a piano ballad, guitars, and synths headed towards an ascending midsection.
It shows Echolyn going into a Beatle-sque melody that could have been used during the Abbey Road sessions before they head back into the ground for a lukewarm finale. But it’s Warjazz that sees the band heading into an increase rhythm section. It’s a right-in-your-face unexpected melody that is brilliant and the time signatures spread out like a list as to see where they will go next.
The drumming beat per minute of 166, has a Bill Bruford meets Paul Thompson style of percussion section. It’s a cross between the Red-era of King Crimson and Roxy Music’s sole self-titled debut album which is evidential on the track, 2HB. The thunderous Different Days has the instruments between Organ, Synth, Heavy Guitar midsection, and piano in a running beat.
The lyrics deal with wherever they go, they stay up and move away from the situations they are under and forget everything they remember by moving forward and the band’s writing is spot on wonderful. The closing track, Vanishing Sun is where everything is coming in full circle. I enjoy the hypnotizing melodies that fits in with the heavy section through the vocals.
Following by Church Organ-like sounds and Guitar, not to mention the late ‘60s psychedelic intro climbing melody, and the touches of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era and the inspirational lyrics from the mind of Jeff Tweedy, and the finale of the clapping rhythm with the line ”All he wanted was to disappear, All he wanted was to take his life back.” It is a perfect ending to send it off into the heavens. Very much in the styles of The Who's Pure and Easy in the closing moment.
This is my fifth time listening to Echolyn’s I Heard You Listening. I was really impressed of the band’s music since hearing them back on United in Prog with Tony Romero and on Prog Rock Deep Cuts with Ian Beabout on the House of Prog website (www.houseofprog.com). And now I’m hooked into the world of Echolyn. And I can’t wait to hear more of their music and dive into their pool to see what adventures they have waiting for me.