Review Summary: On their third album, the mainly electronic duo recall quite a few musical sounds from The Postal Service and Yes to Deftones and Radiohead.
Have you been missing some intelligent electro-pop since The Postal Service went missing in action? Or were you longing to hear some electro-pop which incorporates some good guitar licks, even inclining toward the harder side of things?
Well, then, the Toronto/New York duo Aurganic and their third album proper, Distant Echoes & Close Encounters might be exactly what you need! Michael Kossov and Leo Pissaq spent two years preparing this album, recording and re-recording, choosing the selected nine tracks out of 20 they came up with, and the labors they invested paid off.
The moment the opener “Signs” kicks in, you get all the key component that make up this album, multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics and some crunchy guitar drives. The key thing though is that the duo did not cut corners on the melodic drive of their songs, making them stand on their own as possible singles.
“Empires” melodically recalls Muse, without actually steering into a copycat territory, electronics and guitars set in a good equilibrium. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” veers towards Radiohead if they were to introduce a bit of soul into their sound, again with some strong harmonies. “Levitate” is squarely in the Postal Service’s intelligent electro-pop territory and is one of the best tracks on the album.
“Distant Echoes”, has a good, slow melodic line, and while it can easily fit in the downtempo category, actually pushes the guitar sound more to the forefront. “Meander” and particularly “Porcelain” show that Aurganic has had their ears open to bands like Deftones and Incubus too. While “Porcelain”, which starts of as another slow tune, turns into a full-fledged progressive workout akin to Yes.
Luckily, after some heavy sounds comes a good-sounding ballad in the form of “Shaman”, with just vocals slightly electronically treated acoustic guitar and basic drumming.
The closer “Close Encounters” is the only all-instrumental track that again exemplifies the band’s progressive leanings but at no time turning into a show-off.
Distant Echoes & Close Encounters comes up as a varied and well-balanced album with a lot to offer to quite a few musical tastes. Certainly, deserves more than a few spins.