Hot on the heels of their previous four track EP, ‘Freak’, back in March, dark wave electronic band Among the Echoes has been busy making preparations to release a follow up EP. Described by Pete Steer of electronica band, tenek, as bringing “synth with bollocks” to the party, Among The Echoes has recently announced a Synthetic City gig with fellow electro artists Johnny Normal (who has supported the likes of Adam Ant and Blancmange) and Spacebuoy (who has supported Erasure among others), which sold out within 3 weeks.
The band has had an eventful year already, with the departure of singer Rachael O’Hara shortly after the release of ‘Freak’ but fortunately this has not held the band back, and their journey seems to be gathering speed at an almost alarming pace.
The first track of the EP, ‘Midnight’, starts with a purposeful, steady beat which punctuates the band’s trademark dark synth. The band is never afraid to use unusual chord progressions and toplines, and this this song is no exception, with the vocals of frontman, Ian Wall, washing through the track, sounding uncannily like a kind of cross between Sisters Of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch and David Bowie.
The following track, ‘Hallways Of Sin’ starts with a mist of whispers against a constant hard bass drum and incorporates an interesting and unusual guitar riff, providing a new dimension to the chorus. This is another dark track (as you would expect) which is made all the more vivid courtesy of a haunting and brilliant solo piano in the pre-chorus. Sam Wale, who produced the band’s previous EP, has done another sterling job on the production of this track, with the crispness of the beat against the haziness of the synths really shining through.
‘Cities Are Burning’ changes the pace up a notch and starts with guitars that are reminiscent of The Cure and Killing Joke. The unusual feature of this track is the quirky beat, coupled with some fantastic choral chants which become slightly more insistent as the song progresses. The track is a long one, possibly slightly too long, but it holds its own well. Dropping down in pace between the verse and chorus is a nice touch that gives a quirky air to the track. Again, the production is strong.
Finally, the shining star of the EP is ‘Flowers’, which features vocals from Bridget Gray, singer of electronic band Destination, adding a touch of light to the otherwise disconsolate place that the song unfalteringly navigates. The track starts in a dark, thumping swirl, with Wall’s vocals providing a gritty backdrop as the lyrics unfold. So raw is the performance that you can almost visualise Wall standing at the grave of a loved one, in the rain, spitting out the words. Gray’s vocals perfectly compliment Wall’s as the chorus lifts the track to a higher place before descending back down into the darkness of the verse. It is a track that is beautifully executed, with lyrics that are both poignant and moving.
‘Midnight‘ is due for release on 1st August, and will be available on Amazon, i-Tunes, CDBaby and the usual digital outlets. The band will be appearing at The Flapper in Birmingham on 17th August as well as the sold out Synthetic City gig on 19th October at The Actress and Bishop, also in Birmingham. For more information on the band visit their website at www.amongtheechoes.co.uk .