Echo Tail
A Brief Escape From Life


4.5
superb

Review

by CaliggyJack USER (96 Reviews)
April 9th, 2021 | 64 replies


Release Date: 04/09/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Melancholy's third testament

Among the Indie-Rock powerhouses that dominate the Bandcamp landscape, few are as versatile and inventive as Echo Tail. Since debuting with Mirroring in 2014, Echo Tail have bombarded listeners with a multitude of Rock subgenre's from Drone to Shoegaze. However, it wasn't until Drowning the Pacific that the band really began what I call "The Melancholy Series"; a series of albums dealing with more somber topics and rougher instrumentation. The band would return to this style in the similarly rough but subdued Beauty in Denial. With A Brief Escape From Life, Echo Tail are continuing the trend, but this time, with their arms firmly planted in Noise country.

Granted, the band themselves are no stranger to Noise, but it is here in A Brief Escape From Life that the brotherly duo of Tom and Mark Stebbing no longer use the genre as an aesthetic. The opening track Tessaiga Aurora clocks in at over seven minutes, but the final two are steeped in rough digital patchwork and noises with no vocals. Then there are more aggressive songs like Existence which utilize enough distortion to give William Bennett a hangover all while a female voice repeats "I want to exist" over and over again. Of the Noise tracks however, none compare to Dilation. The tune starts off soft, but quickly erupts into a droning guitar and heavy distortion. Towards the end of the track, the distortion and feedback get louder and more intense until unceremoniously ending. It is in these tracks, that Echo Tail unleash the depressing void of emotion, pulling out lyrics of fear and lost hope, with Tessaiga Aurora being a prime example:

My fears have all come true
the nerves have settled in
once you know that things wont change
you just get used to it

One of the finest aspects of this album is in it's variety of tone, yet it's consistency of theme. Tracks like Umbra are much more upbeat in it's pitch and tempo, but still contain the same drone aspects that seep into the rest of the album. Credit must be given to the drumming of Tom Stebbing, with songs like Kako mo naku mirai mo nai (No past no future) containing a pulsating, primal percussion sound straight out of the Meg White playbook. The same song also contains some of the best vocals from Mark Stebbing. It can be said that, although Drowning the Pacific is a near-masterpiece, Mark's vocals on said album definitely needed a bit of a touch up. As this album has shown, Mark has clearly been training. He can reverb his voice better, and his crescendos ease up and down without much breaking.

Of course, there are two specific tunes that outshine all the others on the album. Tired of Being Tired is a Noise Rock power play with a slow but aggressive tempo, as Tom unloads on his cymbals with absolute force, giving the cymbals just as much attention as the drums. This is an underrated practice that few drummers take advantage of, with many of the more famous percussionists driving attention away from the cymbals in order to create more clear beats. To top it off is the Heavy Metal ballad Under the Shade which abandons most of the distortion and noise for harder riffs and a fiery tempo.

A Brief Escape From Life is a deliberate lie on the part of the Stebbing brothers. The title beckons us with talk of escapism, but as the actual music and lyrics show, there is no real escape from life. No matter what you do or how you do it, you can only pretend it doesn't exist for so long until you lose your imagination or end up in a mental ward. However, if you can't take my word for it, then take Mark's instead from Under the Shade:

You're circling patiently
hoping for what's left of me
The shelter that's housing fear
its not what its supposed to be

Its easy to give in
Its easy to give in now

When you are alone in here

I am broken and out of place
Sometimes it gets harder to breathe
But I'm here with all I can trust
I am under the shade now

With A Brief Escape From Life, Echo Tail have crafted another near masterpiece almost on par with Drowning the Pacific, and continues their exploration into the shadow side of the human psyche. Drowning the Pacific was an old dog showing us his best tricks, Beauty in Denial was that same dog trying to learn new tricks, and A Brief Escape From Life was said dog performing these new tricks for all to see within a circus of sadness.

Truly, this is melancholy's third testament.



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user ratings (22)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

DISCLAIMER: I received a free review copy from the original artist for the purpose of this review.







https://echotailband.com/ Buy album heer

CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bump

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


Oh wow, I did not expect the 4.5 at all. Thank you so much for the awesome review, you totally got what the album was going for in terms of sound.

CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Let me be clear about a couple of things.



When you first broached the topic of reviewing your upcoming album I was trepidatious. I value encouraging the users of sput to venture into their musical hobbies, but if they make something I don't like I simply won't talk about it. I'm far too honest for these kinds of things and have too much of a potential to hurt other's feelings. Honestly, if I ended up not liking the album in any way that would put the review below a 4, I simply would've said I can't review it in the email.



So when I say this is a 4.5, I am not trying to be nice, or placate, or be encouraging. I am being 100% honest. You earned the score, no ifs ands or buts about it.



It also helped that I had been a fan of you two since 2015. I discovered you guys on /mu/ when somebody was doing an industrial rec thread and I was hooked in seconds. A year later I join Sputnik, and only a short while after I learn in the Drowning the Pacific review that you're a user on sput. One of the biggest reasons I accepted the offer was because I was already a fan of your work, and the brand name alone was enough to encourage me to do so.



With that said, don't get complacent. This is a work of art, but you two can go even higher. One of these days I want to listen to an Echo Tail album and give it a 5, and I challenge you to make that happen.

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


I only expect honesty when it comes to our music, so I really don't mind any criticisms that I get. We've have had lots of rejections from tracks that we have made so its literally water off a duck's back at this point haha.

But thanks for the massively kind words. I feel this album requires you to be in the moment or mood to get into it. I know there are things still to improve on, and we know what direction we want to go in next. Hopefully the next one won't take as long as this one did, I am sure it won't.

WatchItExplode
April 9th 2021


8733 Comments


There's something super familiar to me about the atmosphere thus far (only a few tracks in). Thanks for putting it on my radar Jack, and for making it FO.

Digging: Sumo Cyco - Initiation

CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you like this also check out Drowning the Pacific.

Divaman
April 9th 2021


10317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is on my buy list.

Digging: Grouplove - This Is This

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


Much love to you guys, hope you are digging it.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2021


2274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haven't jammed this band in forever, will definitely check this one out!

Rastapunk
April 9th 2021


1379 Comments


I will have to check this out, been out of the sput loop for a while...

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


Holy crap, just seen this review is on the featured bit on the site, that's incredible. Thanks so much for the support

AaroN911
April 9th 2021


3003 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oooh this sounds beautiful, def gonna check out!

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2021


2274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just finished my first listen, impressive stuff!

CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YAY FEATURED REVIEW!!!!!

parksungjoon
April 9th 2021


30897 Comments


wtf finalorigin livez

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

figure337
April 9th 2021


646 Comments


Def gonna check this out! ET got some good stuff.

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


I definitely take a long hibernation from the site from time to time, I am a huge lurker haha. But I am always around really as I still find Sput the main place to discover music.

Hope you like this one figure and cheers Sunnyvale!

CaliggyJack
April 9th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I better see you around the next time I host a Hunger Games FO

Final Origin
April 9th 2021


891 Comments


I'll be sure to be around when that happens haha



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