Let’s be honest for just a second shall we. I get a lot of albums sent my way for review and I mean a lot. Most of them don’t do anything for me. They don’t always get happily placed in the CD player, but the ones that do usually get a three song stay of execution and generally if they last past that they get my full unadulterated attention. Sometimes I’m hooked from the first track, and that’s precisely what happened when I put the latest release by Scottish band Echo Arcadia on. The CD bursts to life with “Sparks” and a fantastic rocked out sound and follows through with a wonderful sequence of songs, 10 of them to be exact. It twists and turns the way great albums should with a little bit of rock, a little bit of high octane driven soul and a lot of harmonic goodness. Band members: Leigh Moyes (Lead Vocals/ Rhythm Guitar), Vonny Moyes (Lead Guitar / Vocals), Euan Mushet (Bass), Dan Ciesielski (Drums), Kev Tierney (Guitar / Vocals /Trumpet), Pete Nicholson (Keys / Vocals) and Andrew Gray (Violin / Vocals).
I really like to song line up — the way each song masterfully transitions through to the next creating much in the way of drama. So many bands and record labels get this basic skill so wrong. They fail to listen to the songs at their disposal and seemingly throw the album together without giving it any real thought. I’ve known people who work to formulas making sure that their best songs start and finish the album with the remaining tracks squeezed between in a slapdash fashion. That’s not the case with Beauty in the Average Life. in fact each track could probably survive on its own merits, but the album just flows so well. Echo Arcadia could easily heralded as classic sounding rock but there is so much more to them. I hear Tonic, Five for Fighting, The Verve Pipe, and dash of Pearl Jam. I can even hear Masters of Reality, Arctic Monkeys and The Dead Weather. Some pieces stand out like the more appealing to a mass audience “Love Song” and “High Hopes” but there is a deeper and sharper-darker edge to songs like “Into Another Day”, Joker” and “Hide and Seek” which is my favorite track on the CD by the way. The strategic interweaving of systemic melody and impressive vocal performances from Jenkins is a delight, but the solid rhythmical foundation of this band is essential to their artistic and commercial potential. The sound is that of the golden era of popular music in the Eighties and the Nineties when musicianship mattered! But the beauty of this record is the use of all mod-cons forcing Echo Arcadia’s relevance into the modern world. The band should achieve good support from radio and appear to be critical darlings of Edinburgh, and recently signed to Spectra Records. Despite all this I am left bemused how they are not yet a household name – yet. It’s not a case of all the elements being present but the final product being missing as the songs, the musicianship, the production, and the performance all knit together beautifully-even brilliantly. Maybe I’m lucky enough to be in on the ground floor?
Maybe things are just about to kick on for these guys? Whatever it is make sure you get hold of this CD called “Beauty in the Average Life by Echo Arcadia is a must have and in the class of al by itself.
Label: Spectra Records
Rating — 8.5/10
SOUNDCLOUD Link: http://soundcloud.com/echo_arcadia
Edited by J.J. McCall – firstname.lastname@example.org