Second EP release for ECHOIC is a bright, polished and interesting take on alt rock. Shadows Of You brings out more of the bands passion for pop, synth and rock music, all wrapped around interesting lyrical content and strong vocal and instrumental performances.
Shadows Of You opens with a mellow, but relatively bouncy Blame. Vocally, for those unfamiliar with ECHOIC, Connor Turner‘s style is similar to BASTILLE or ENTER SHIKARI. The lyrical content is honest, and will probably connect with fans of YOU ME AT SIX, and the overall musicality has an upbeat, bittersweet pop feel to its alt-rock fashioning.
Ghost rides on a solid riff that will catch the attention of many fans of LINKIN PARK, PULLED APART BY HORSES and even in places COLDPLAY. The good thing with ECHOIC is there is definitely more of a rock feel and more of a leaning towards the synth elements of bands like VOLA and VOYAGER. The hard thing about alt rock at the moment is that one band can easily blur into another with songs and themes that are all a little too easy to follow and a little too easy to conjure. Shadows Of You has a lot more heart than a lot of alt rock music, really taking the elements of some various other genres, even the mainstream, and taking them down a darker road in terms of subject matter.
Introduced with solemn keys, and a humming bass line, We Burn Like This is also heavy on the synth embellishments over warm guitar tones that makes it instantly catchy. Not complex, but pretty funky, it’s another perfectly satisfying song on the EP. It’s probably the confidence that comes across in the production, the performance within the track that lifts this from something mid-range, to something close to a band working their way to the top of their game. If they can convey this confidence at live shows, with all of its techno heart, the push of rock and roll behind it, they’ll do themselves well.
The fast pace of the vocals throughout this EP, and especially on track Next To You, while not at all Rap, brings more variation and low to the track than the just a wish wash of lyrics. This style brought forward more of a visceral quality. The chorus section is heartfelt and melodic; all in all it’s probably the top song so far on the EP. The band really shine in combining their more transient synth elements to their clear guitar riff and beating drums.
Bonus Track Messed Up Smiles is a bright, hopeful track. Juxtaposing its lyrics, this makes for the best kind of radio playable track. Hard and confident in its string work, a steady and sometimes menacing drum beat as the breakdown, the collective use of effects makes Messed Up Smiles into a nice, satisfying ending.
Those new to ECHOIC will hopefully see what the band have achieved in taking more popular elements of mainstream music and fusing it with solid alt rock sounds, and overlaying some very interesting synth. With this EP being the bands second release, we can only hope that when bands first full album comes out, it’s as strong and confident as this record.
Shadows Of You is out now via self-release.
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