Review Summary: In the hazy, hypnotizing junctures of Third Transmission: Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace, Experimental Aircraft release a potential album of the year candidate.
It's a shame that Experimental Aircraft probably won't ever get the respect and acknowledgment that they deserve. Realistically, I suppose it would be a little much to expect anything more for the band than the occasional e-props from some obscure blog. The Texas-based shoegaze quartet was formed in 1997, and has only released three full length albums to date; a tidbit made more notable owing to the fact it's been six years since Experimental Aircraft's second album. Given the sheer brilliance of Third Transmission: Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace
, however, the six year gap following Love For the Last Time
has been well worth it. With twice as many tracks as both of its predecessors, Third Transmission
is an hour long, but manages to capture and maintain the listener's attention for the entirety of the experience.
Opening track "Stellar" effectively offers the listener the rundown on Third Transmission
's musical direction. Walls of noise are the foundation in which Experimental Aircraft's sound is built, with emphasis placed more on the hazy atmosphere produced by guitarists Rachel Staggs and T.J. O'Leary. And it is the dominant bursts of fuzzy distortion that give Experimental Aircraft their biggest asset. Despite being pieced together by layers of noise and the occasional subtle melody, as can be heard in "Paintings in the Attic" or "Start Over Again", Third Transmission
presents a very serene, dreamy listen. The aforementioned Rachel Staggs helps accentuate the music with her soft, almost hypnotizing voice. Similarly to the spacey overtones heard throughout the record, Staggs sings in the exact same tone throughout the entirety of Third Transmission
; that being in an airy, nonchalant manner, in which she drifts in and out of the mix. However, to say that all fifteen of the album's songs sounded exactly like one another would be a tad misleading. "Sit Still", for example, is more of an upbeat indie-rock number featuring a mumbling O'Leary behind the mic. Though perhaps not an album highlight, the song effectively injects some energy into the album, albeit only briefly.
Though Experimental Aircraft
's third L.P. features several songs which can be enjoyed individually, songs such as "Stellar", "Remember", "Paintings in the Attic", and "With a Gun", Third Transmission: Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace
is one of those albums one needs to listen to in whole to best appreciate. The album flows flawlessly, with each song contributing towards the sixty-mute blur of hazy noise rock, complete with its beautiful musical backdrop, and engaging instrumentation. Pretty good for a band whose previous release was a seven track recording from 2002, huh?