Ecotone Refugees
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Ecotone Refugees

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"Ecotone Refugees - Water is Rising"

Man, I love it when a band brings the music! Not just the hard driving rhythms, the catchy melodies, or the dynamic conveyance of emotion through dramatic time changes. I love it when a band brings the music with pure passion, an edgy resentment for the status quo, and a bag full of fun! Water is Rising is an album packed with blistering rock tunes that shift in dynamics from spaced out hard edged psychedelic ditties to snot nosed punky fun. Mixed within these quirky elements and when the lads aren’t freaking out about riding roller coasters, Ecotone Refugees shower the listener with poignant lyrics regarding warfare, hatred, and religion. There’s no way you’re listening to this one just once. There’s way too much going on for that to happen.


“Marathon” starts things off with a fuzzed out riff that brings to mind bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Fu Manchu. The music swirls around the ear drums and distorts the senses with wafts of THC. Stoned out vibes emanate from the speakers with a bass throbbing drone. The guitars appear and disappear like phantoms slipping in and out of the periphery. All of this creates this incredibly funky, groovy, and paranoid vibe throughout the tune. Maybe a little psychedelic, but never to the point of taking the listener too far within themselves and getting themselves lost in introspection. The song has a pair hanging and the bands not afraid to kick you in yours to make you aware of their existence.


And just to make sure that Ecotone Refugees are getting the point across that they can rock out with the best of them, “Wake Up” kicks in with some metal muscle that was a little unexpected. Still, the music has that ambient, spacey synth sound creeping around the verses, however, like a low flying missile the song propels us across the face of the planet rather than having us orbit Big Blue in the stratosphere. The chorus is one of a melodic and catchy beast calling us to wake up as a people and “stop the war, stop the bloodshed.” This is a personal favorite!


We’ve established that Ecotone Refugees can psyche us out while kicking our collective asses with some hard edged rock, so what do they do on “Losing Your Faith?” Well, like all the bands that I fall madly in love with, they change things up, show us some extra layers of depth to their songwriting skill, and slip in some jazzier toned passages to make sure we don’t drift away. The song starts off safe enough with its hard rock leanings, but by the time they get to the chorus, the band gets their freak on with some off time and quirky psychedelic circus music. And when they break off into musical euphoria midway through the song, all orthodox approaches to songwriting are thrown out the space hatch to join the rest of the miscellaneous debris encapsulating the Earth. I love it! Toss out the old and tired riffs of yester year, throw out every expectation that I have with the music and challenge me to listen to music from a different direction.


The eight plus minute quasi-epic, “Baghdad Hell,” acts as the centerpiece to the album. Opening with some more of those heavily distorted guitar riffs that have the head bobbing in time with the groove, the song flexes that metal muscle once again. Suddenly, the bass and drums hold down the rhythm while the guitarists exchange a volley of distorted interchanges before joining the groove once again. Layers of synth drop from the skies like the bombs Baghdad has seen its fair share of, running with a Middle Eastern themed melody, capturing the mood of the tune. Again, more poignant lyrics, as sparse as they may be, questioning where God is through all of the hate and destruction of warfare. Big time stoner rock riffs propel this weighty number to its end.


Water is Rising makes me think, and with everything listen, I crack a smile that there are still musicians out there who aren’t afraid to mix things up. Ecotone Refugees have made me stop and think through the lyrics, all while they beat me stupid with wave after wave of distorted stoner rock. Any band that’s gonna’ throw in piano amidst the flurry of guitar riffs that have a hardcore edge is alright in my book. I don’t need to hear the same tired riffs played at the same tired speed for close to an hour. I need to have the way I listen to music challenged from time to time, and these Refugees have stepped up to me and slapped me across the face with a toasty loaf of sourdough. It didn’t hurt in the least bit, but it did get my attention. And for that, I thank them. Not sure why it had to be a loaf of sourdough. It could quite have easily been a loaf of rye, or multi-grain wheat, or plain ole boring white. Sorry . . . I digress. Water is Rising needs to make it onto your turntables at some point, folks. This music is far too important and interesting to be ignored. - Pope JTE



- The Ripple Effect


"Ecotone Refugees - Water Is Rising"


Ecotone Refugees - Water Is Rising
2008, Echo Orange Music

Ecotone Refugees come barreling out of the vibrant Brooklyn Indie rock scene with a sound that is reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Queens Of The Stone Age without really sounding like any of them. A modern rock psychedelic band with a shredder on lead guitar and a vocalist who sounds like Ozzy Osbourne had a child with Eddie Vedder is going to attract attention, and Ecotone Refugees definitely attract attention. Their debut album, Water Is Rising was released in 2008 and makes quite an impression.

Ecotone Refugees are a conglomerate of true music professionals. Johnny Young lends vocals, guitar, Moog and keys. Outside of the band he is also a producer and composer who has provided music for the Oprah Winfrey show. Sean Egan (guitar, Moog, bass) is a shredder in the first degree and loves to play with dynamics and time signatures. David Weise chips in on vocals and bass, and drummer Michael Galante is a Berklee College of Music grad. Suffice it to say Ecotone Refugees aren't your typical rock bruiser. It's no surprise then how varied and complex the songs on Water Is Rising truly are. The album opens with Marathon, an Ozzy-era Sabbath-esque rocker built on some very interesting guitar work. Wake Up is a big, straight up rocker with Moog effects and an anti-war message. This is probably the least compelling song on the album, but still a decent listen.

Losing Your Faith is the sort of heavy rocker that would have ruled AOR radio in the early 1980's. Psychedelic bridges and big driving guitars give this song a distinctive sound that stands out. Lost In You is an interesting mix. There's a pop sensibility in the hook-laden song (even if the hooks are anti-pop). The chorus is classic punk rock and the song is a clear dichotomy that reflects the divergent sounds Ecotone Refugees pursue. Cyclone is a raucous old-school rock tune based on a classic Moog sound and surf-style guitar. B-Squad Brothers is feel good Rock N Roll in a classic 1960's format. Water Is Rising is pure psychedelia, Pink Floyd style. Nine and-a-half minutes of pure rock ambience.


Ecotone Refugees march musical ground that's been covered for years and yet they seem to find a way to sound fresh and new even while paying tribute to some of the biggest names in Classic Rock. Water Is Rising has the same sort of iconic feel about it that Pearl Jam had in their early days. If you love great classic rock sounds with a modern edge, then Water Is Rising (and Ecotone Refugees) is for you. - Wildy's World


"Ecotone Refugees: LP to be released March 2009"


Ecotone Refugees: LP to be released March 2009


One thing that must be said about Ecotone Refugees is that they are a band unlike any others. At first listen, people may be turned off by their sound, but open your minds! I tried to think of the best way to describe the band, but all I came up with was original.

The guitar parts range from influences as metal, punk, and even some psychedelic parts. The vocals are the standout of this band. They are pure electric. The vocals are old-school and gets a strong response from the soul. Vocals are similar to Danzig and Mike Patton in my mind. Kill me if I'm wrong. The songwriting is very interesting and kept me guessing until the songs ended.

The different elements of this band may sound like chaos to some people, but its smartly crafted once you break it down. The one concern with this band is how different they are from everything out there. Some people will simply turn away from their style, but true music fans with open minds will actually dig this band. They may need to focus on one style and stick with it, but that's not my place to say so. Check out this band for something original and new. Keep listening to each song and you may find yourself falling in love with this band.

Review by Metal Mark McPheeters - Target Audience Magazine


"Ecotone Refugees"

the frog says...
Brooklyn's Ecotone Refugees bring their psychedelic rock sound to Froglix along with their most recent release Water Is Rising. The Refugees define their sound as "one part stoner rock, a bit of doom metal, electronica for ambience and enough hooks to catch a school of fish." I have a much simpler definition... controlled chaos. Think Fugazi meets an acid jazz band with Kim Thayil on guitar and a cross between Jim Morrison, Glenn Danzig and Chris Cornell on vocals--and you'd be close. The diversity of styles and genres that flow in and out of ER's songs create a truly eclectic sound that is fueled by solid phrases, beautifully constructed hooks and intense jams. Their music is real... real good, that is, and every time you take a listen you hear something you missed the last time. Check it out. - Froglix Radio


Discography

Water Is Rising - 2008
Airplay on Wake Up, Lost In You, Marathon, Water Rising

Photos

Bio

Ecotone Refugees is and are a four piece rock/psych band out of Brooklyn, New York.

They have influences that range from the stoner rock of Sabbath, psych of Floyd and the innovation of QOTSA, also with the harder edge of modern rock.

“One thing that must be said about Ecotone Refugees is that they are a band unlike any others… I tried to think of the best way to describe the band, but all I came up with was original.

The guitar parts range from influences as metal, punk, and even some psychedelic parts. The vocals are the standout of this band. They are pure electric. The vocals are old-school and gets a strong response from the soul..”, says Metal Mark McPheeters – Target Audience Magazine

He also said "The different elements of this band may sound like chaos to some people, but its smartly crafted once you break it down.”

Johnny says” “The one conscious choice we make is to stay away from traditional chord changes.” This band is the fusion of all the rock we like.

Johnny came of tour with Kreisor, (Teepee Records), opening for UFO to start this band with Dave. He has been licensing music for years.

Dave sang and co-wrote Mirror, which is currently available on the soundtrack from The Wrestler, available on Koch Records.

This collection was recorded using guitar, bass and drums and keyboards played with no electronic tricks whether recording or playing live. All the tracks were recorded at Johnny’s Horizon Sound studio in Brooklyn using performance and traditional mixing techniques.

The band is Johnny Young and David Weise both singing lead and background vocals, (when the other sings lead)

Johnny plays, guitar, Moog, and keys. He has played piano since childhood and guitar for 10 years.

David Weise plays bass most of the time.

Dave has been writing and singing in local bands and recently picked up the bass. His approach on bass is to play traditional patterns to support the improv of the band. David is a bar stool poet.

Sean Egan, often known as Eganz, plays guitar, Moog, and bass. Sean, both a guitar shredder and a unique bass player sometimes likes to slow it down to create dynamics and concentrate on exploration. He shows off his great bass skills on the track Losing Your Faith and plays the Moog in the live show, a true multi-instrumentalist.

The Ecotone refugees are excited to play and record and are eager to make new fans. You can buy this at CDbaby.com or Amazon or itunes or Rhapsody, etc. Contact: 440 5th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718)965-0794,EcotoneRefugees@gmail.com, www.myspace.com/ecotonerefugees, www.sonicbids.com/ecotonerefugees