Spawned by the British invasion and the new wave revolution, San Diego, CA-based band Echo Revolution effectively combines elements of indie rock, anthemic pop, and Beatlesque songwriting with a bit of a dark side. Echo Revolution’s music has been featured in MTV programs Jersey Shore (2010), Real World (2008) and MTV Gauntlet II (2007).
Recently nominated for a San Diego Music Award, the quartet has released three full-length recordings since 2003. The band’s last album A Safe Place to Start (2008) was played on nearly 150 college, public and commercial radio stations in the US including CMJ charting on several stations.
Looking to capitalize on the high praise and exposure of their 2010 release "Counterfeit Sunshine" LP, Echo Revolution is poised to release a new album in the summer of '11. A true indie artist from the beginning, ER has always been a band that "chooses its moments," and with the excitement building around the band since last winter we can expect great things around the release of their new record.
Lee Harding - Vocals, Guitar
Alex Zander - keys, lead, etc
In the Wire (2005),
A Safe Place to Start (2008)
Counterfeit Sunshine LP (2010)
"Counterfeit Sunshine may be the one to put Echo Revolution into a well-deserved spotlight."
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Counterfeit Sunshine, the new album from San Diego’s Echo Revolution, is anything but what its title...Counterfeit Sunshine, the new album from San Diego’s Echo Revolution, is anything but what its title implies. These tunes are sincere in their joyfulness; even the sad songs contain some optimism amidst the despair.
“Open Your Eyes” and the title track both have that soaring quality so infrequently found in modern pop, but one that is sorely needed. The striking harmonies are a perfect counterpoint to singer Lee Harding’s warm, throaty vibrato.
Producer extraordinaire Steve Churchyard and engineer Alan Sanderson have wisely placed Harding’s voice prominently in the mix, giving the songs on the album an intimate feeling; they are crisp without being slick or soulless.
“High Road” is possibly the most traditional rock song of the bunch, with a great rhythm section and funky piano providing a solid base to the guitar solo.
The hard edit between “Drag Me Away” and “Addiction” fuses them into two parts of the same song. The first features tambourines and some impressive pedal steel-like vocal harmonies with the rolling rhythms of the song evoking waves on a beach. “Addiction” is a Beatle-esque mini-epic, with its slow build of melancholy strummed guitar and accordion blossoming into something approaching hope.
At times Echo Revolution feels like Sam Roberts or The Church, but this is a band with its own distinctive sound. By the time we hit the terrific groove of “What Say You?” alternating between funky piano, heavy bass, and effects-heavy guitar, this becomes apparent.
While “Good To Be Home” recalls the sunny sounds of the first half of the album, it introduces sparkling keyboards, harmonica, and hand claps and lets Alex Zander’s piano take center stage. It continues the lyrical flow found throughout on the album: looking versus seeing, the difference between what is real and what one perceives. “I know you see these things the same as me.”
Counterfeit Sunshine truly hits its stride with the last three tunes. “When I’m Around You” has the mournful melancholy of a Peter Holsapple song, with Harding’s voice straining into a higher register over heavy acoustic guitars. The effect is mesmerizing. All of Echo Revolution’s qualities shine through here: genuine musicianship, a love of harmonies, sounds filling the empty spaces without being transformed into a wall of overproduction. This is the first tune to fade out and it’s the perfect ending for it.
We are then thrust into the heavy riffage of “Soul Work” which has a more edgy rock feeling than the rest of the album, and more unique vocals from Harding. At one point, most of the sound drops out and he repeats, “Can we see past our own reflection to the bigger dream?” Then the song just stops.
The closer, “Mount Washington,” is stunning, with Harding’s whispery vocals over gorgeous swaths of acoustic guitar and echoing harmonies.
With four albums behind them, it seems that Counterfeit Sunshine may be the one to put Echo Revolution into a well-deserved spotlight.
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This throaty, powerful, and well-orchestrated pop album is the product of a band that thinks big and...This throaty, powerful, and well-orchestrated pop album is the product of a band that thinks big and follows through on its thoughts. “High Road” is the most obvious champion of the tracks, with saloon piano triumphantly leading the charge through rushing bluesy hooks. “Open Your Eyes” is cut from the same cloth, with its skittering hi-hats exploding into a full rock chorus. Yet the show-stealer on Counterfeit Sunshine is a neat bit of bass and piano funk with the veneer of an only child. “Mt. Washington” is the prime exhibit of the band’s softer minutes, with an acoustic guitar and faint backing vocals weaving space spanning horizons.
Even in its most guarded moments, there’s an optimism to Counterfeit Sunshine that seems neither forced nor false, and thus it’s contagious.
Chill, Urbane Post Pop
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One of a handful of fresh, original and inspiring releases of 2005, "In the Wire", although brief fo...One of a handful of fresh, original and inspiring releases of 2005, "In the Wire", although brief for a full-length CD, at around forty minutes, doesn't contain any superfluous filler tracks just for the purposes of making it longer. It has just what it needs: chill, urbane post-pop, imbued with an icy nonchalance and, as a finale, a stark, bare-bones (piano, voice) cover of "Satellite of Love." The rest of the CD, however, is pure originality, in terms of its inability to be confused with countless other banalities out there in radioland.
Dreamy Alternapop Perfection
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Recorded by Alan Sanderson (Rolling Stones, Weezer) of Strate Sound and Mike Kamoo of Earthling Stud...Recorded by Alan Sanderson (Rolling Stones, Weezer) of Strate Sound and Mike Kamoo of Earthling Studios, Echo Revolution's In the Wire contains eight original tracks of dreamy, alternapop perfection and an absolutely sublime rendition of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love." The band members claim in their press kit that they "set out to present an emotional, dynamic, and soulful experience." In the Wire delivers. To hear Echo Revolution visit their website or check them out on MySpace at www.myspace.com/echorevolution.
"Almost Impossible to Dislike"
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Echo Revolution make no secret of the influence brought to bear on them by U2, REM, and Radiohead, b...Echo Revolution make no secret of the influence brought to bear on them by U2, REM, and Radiohead, but within the framework created by triangulating their heroes, they cultivate their own unique atmosphere. In The Wire is also reminiscent of Koufax's in-your-face piano rock, sans attitude. Rather than a punky swagger, they exude an endearing innocence and an understated charisma that makes them almost impossible to dislike.
Lead singer Lee Harding's voice is fluid and forceful, emotive and energetic. In opener "Footnote", he presents himself with a sheepish poeticism before bursting into a soaring, anthemic chorus. "Raincoat" recalls Belle & Sebastian's jazzy pop; its two-bar breakdown features a toe-tickling piano solo that demonstrates the band's versatility and talent. And when Robin Eisenberg steps up to the mic for album closer "Satellite Love", her subtly sultry Sarah McLachlan-style musings will make you wonder why her voice isn't more prominently featured throughout In The Wire.
Between Harding and Eisenberg's talents, Echo Revolution are well-equipped to invade the airwaves with their polished brand of indie pop. Their dominant vocal presence aside, if it weren't for the piano that jumps out the background of acoustic and electric guitars, bass and drums, there'd be little to distinguish the band from their peers. That said, they definitely have what it takes for widespread appeal -- strong vocal melodies, intelligent lyrics and an enjoyable musical palette with just the right mix of pop hooks, energy and character.
"Brit Pop is Alive and Well"
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San Diego California has produced a band that sounds like they just stepped off a double decker bus ...San Diego California has produced a band that sounds like they just stepped off a double decker bus in London England. Britpop is alive and well and it’s all good.
Echo Revolution have self produced a great independent album here. The songs are well constructed British influenced dynamic pop songs that bring the listener in and introduce them to the band very honestly as they play through their closest emotional soundscapes.
The band is proficient on their instruments and seem to play well together, bring dynamics, feel and groove to the CD.
I particularly like “Alive Tonight” and “Drive-Thru Wedding”
Pushing the Boundaries
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Echo Revolution, a 3 piece alternative rock band from San Diego (California) combines mainstream sty...Echo Revolution, a 3 piece alternative rock band from San Diego (California) combines mainstream style with a progressive flare. Their brand of music doesn’t fall under the traditional prog but rather the modern style. Similar to what Radiohead, Coldplay, Porcupine Tree and PO90 is doing.
While their music is not overly complex, they do make music with one goal, being artistic. The way it should be by adding elements of what progressive rock is truly about. To me, they push the boundaries and subsequentually could cause them to be overlooked. by the mainstream media. However, they will always have a place in the progressive world at large, especially for those who enjoy song based music.
Please check these guys out, you won’t regret it!
[December 17th, 2003]
As Fully Realized Debut As your Likely to Come Accross
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Quietly playing the Southern California Club Scene over the last few years, four-piece indie pop gro...Quietly playing the Southern California Club Scene over the last few years, four-piece indie pop group Echo Revolution has managed to elude the spotlight while honing their craft. On the evidence of this debut album, the time spent woodshedding is paying dividends. Featuring superb musicianship and intricate arrangements from Robin Eisenberg (keyboards), Lee Harding [vocals, guitar], Nathan Schaedler (drums), and Andy Villa-Boas (bass), the band's music has touches that reveal 80's musical influences wrapped around a range of styles spanning from punk-tinged guitar rockers to jazzy piano ballads. With both excellent production and a fistful of topnotch songs, this is as fully realized a debut as you're likely to come across, right down to the packaging. It's not often that something as generally overlooked as an album cover grabs attention anymore, but here the band truly excels, presenting a series of striking yet subtle images that echo favorably the sort of photo fantasy LP graphics that might have been produced by famed seventies art house Hipgnosis. Well-sequenced, the songs flow together seamlessly. Quirky opener "Footnote" manages both soaring chorus and arty sound collage bridge while new wave stomper "Drive Thru Wedding" has serious groove, complete with an inspired vocal from Harding. Other highlights include melancholy rocker "Carousel" as well as "Raincoat", which spotlights some of Eisenberg's best keyboard work. The disk closes with a stark piano-and-harmonies version of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love", an excellent rendition, but easily surpassed by the eight originals here. And there lies the disc's greatest fault; at only 9 tracks, the album is disappointingly brief. But, if you like melodically clever piano-based pop, this release can be summed up in three brief sentences. Cool band name. Cool graphics. Great music. You can't lose.
There's a new "Echo" in town!
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There's a new "Echo" in town! I am so pleased to hear this track. This is an "Echo" quite differ...There's a new "Echo" in town!
I am so pleased to hear this track. This is an "Echo" quite different to the one who played with the Bunnymen. Not the "Lips Like Sugar" and "Bring on the Dancing Horses" will ever lose their appeal for me, but, it's nice to hear some *happy* energy going on for rock-and-rollers.
This song is so charismatic that I can't stop listening to it. I heard it once a couple of months ago, when I was asked to review it, and remember loving it then. Then I put it on the shelf (sorry guys) while I took care of some other details in my life. I'm back to it again, and grooving to the extraordinarily simple mix of shuffle-percussion, bass, (and is that a fiddle playing or some kind of wind instrument - alto sax? Anyway, whatever instrument it is, it does a lovely Middle Eastern turn in the solo). And that great talking sing-song voice, with lots of core and charisma. The bass and the mumbling between vocal lines are so reminiscent of Cake that I can hear them. The chord changes and guitar crushes at the end of the vocal lines remind me a little of Steely Dan in places... and they end with a very Beatles chord... hold on, I have to figure it out...E9?
I love the words in this song, as well.
"There was more than subtle motive to the claims..." "She was getting to the gooey caramel core, and I'm sore!" "The night was long, till the gleaming hostess was gone... we never wrote her name, cause it was never spelled the same..."
I can't say enough about the satisfying, simple, happy-sounding sound "the new Echo" have created in this song. I simply don't have the musical vocabulary. This is one of the very the best tracks that I've reviewed so far.
Send me your CD, guys.
“In the Wire” Shines
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For a sophomore album this is pretty mature sounding. They sound like those indie rock bands that go...For a sophomore album this is pretty mature sounding. They sound like those indie rock bands that got sick and tired of sounding lo-fi and went big budget with polished production and mixing. Accompanying the pop-rock formula
with a notion that you don’t have to rely on just a chorus-verse chorus format to write catchy songs, “In the Wire” shines through the dank recesses of rock’s
factories offering up something that indie kids can like and mainstreamers can question what that song was that just was played in some quick edit cut of an MTV reality show (their “Aura” is licensed to MTV).
Hi! ... TOTALLY LOVE the CD!!!
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...releases like yours are the reason why I'm doing all this...unique timeless music... the CD was i......releases like yours are the reason why I'm doing all this...unique timeless music... the CD was immediately put on the *keep forever* pile!!
love is here
favorite brand of hope
when I'm around you
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