The Echelons
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The Echelons

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"The Echelons " Don't Kiss Her Face ""

The Echelons, Don’t Kiss Her Face
October 7, 2009 | by Skope Staff
First thing I see when I look at the front cover of The Echelons’ Don’t Kiss Her Face are two cartoon characters with serious sexual innuendos. One character is portrayed as an attractive woman all dolled up while putting lip stick on & looking at herself in the mirror. She is depicted as wearing some very short shorts with the booty sticking all out & about in the air. The other character is a male with slicked-back hair, some wild, poca-dotted pants and a very big grin on his face. He is grinning because he is enjoying the view of the woman’s ass looking straight at him. The Echelons say to Don’t Kiss Her Face, but I don’t think they have to worry about that based on the front cover. The male cartoon character, we’ll call “Slick Willie”, only has one thing on his mind and it’s surely not her face! Just from the cover, you get themes such as: vanity, women depicted as perfect & pretty sex objects and stereotypes of men being men.

Moving on now, The Echelons are bringing a formula to the public that we haven’t seen in years, which is the family group. The group is made up of the father, Ben Petrella, on vocals & guitars, Ben’s daughter, Jessica Petrella, on vocals & keys and Ben’s son, Louis Petrella on vocals, guitars and keys. To mix things up a bit, they added two next door neighbors that are pretty much like family: Brian “Binger” Santo on vocals and bass and Brandon Grande on drums. They may be a family-oriented band, but this is no Partridge Family or The Osmonds by any means. The Echelons have a fresh sound of their own that is both original & current.

Don’t Kiss Her Face has elements from so many different genres of music, which I simply love. I heard some real poppy moments mixed with some alternative & rocked out modes with even some elements of punk rock. They seemed to have a real cool, garage band effect on this record, which was quite infectious to hear. All members really came together to play as a unified team or in other words like one big happy family.

Two aspects really stuck out to me on this album and that would be the performances by Jessica & Louis Petrella. Jessica just being 19 years old and Louis only 12 is amazingly unreal the talents they already display at such young ages. Jessica’s singing had a very free-spirited-type-of-flow sound to it along with a beautifully-toned voice. She really sang her heart out here in a soft ‘n’ sweet manner yet being deeply impactful toward the listener. There’s one line from the title track, “Don’t Kiss Her Face”, where Jessica says “She aint got a face until she puts it on in the morning” touching on my earlier points of being vain & women dolling themselves up to become sex objects. Now onto Louis who plays the heck out of the guitar at just age 12—no way!! What I heard were some great guitar lines, rockin’ solos and there was nothing amateur-sounding about it. This Louis Petrella is the real deal on guitar and he has a bright future ahead of him as a musician—no question! The youngest member of The Echelons, Louis P, gets my vote for the major WOW factor on Don’t Kiss Her Face.

The Echelons came up with the name due to “each member being from a different “echelon” in his or her life”. This concept all makes sense now, but one thing is for certain and that is that each and every member is headed in the right direction. For more on The Echelons and their new release, Don’t Kiss Her Face, SKOPE out

By Jimmy Rae



Posted by Skope Staff · Filed Under REVIEWS
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"Review: The Echelons - Don't Kiss Her Face"

Click here: Wildy's World: Review: The Echelons - Don't Kiss Her Face

The Echelons - Don't Kiss Her Face
2008, Da Kline Music

The family band is something that died out with the sunset of the 1970's. Bands like The Osmonds, The Jacksons/Jackson 5 and the Cowsills dominated the pop charts in the early 1970's with gooey pop confections. More recent family acts such as Hanson have had some success, but not to the level of the 1970's trio above. The Echelons look to bring the family band back in a big way. Guitarist Ben Petrella (known as Dad to the rest of the group) played guitar for The Drive-Ins and bass for King Neptune & Wally World previously. Jessica Petrella (keys, vox) is all of 19 years old, while guitarist Louis Petrella clocks in at 12 years and growing. The band is rounded out by neighbors Brian "Binger" Santo (bass) and Brandon Grande (drums). Songwriting duties are shared, with 21-year old Sarah Petrella, who's not in the band, contributing material she wrote with Don Goodman (Alabama, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton). The Echelons' debut album, Don't Kiss Her Face, has the pop sensibility of earlier family bands, but adds a modern edge that is a mark of their youthful exuberance.

Don't Kiss Her Face is what it is. Some of the songs sound a bit young, which is befitting the respective ages of The Echelons. That means there will be some moments along the way where the lyrics are a bit awkward, but musically The Echelons put on a top-notch performance on Don't Kiss Her Face. The entire band has occasional disagreements on key in the vocal line, but the deviations aren't horrible and serve to foster a Lo-Fi feel to the album that the production values also support. Don't Kiss Her Face opens with Remember Me, a sophomoric yet touching song of love, desire and loss. I'll Have To Go looks at relationships from another side; realizing that things aren't working and having to cut your losses. Don't Kiss Her Face is the star of the album, a funny diatribe about women who wear too much makeup. This has seriously licensing potential and even breakout Pop radio potential.

World Of Her Own is a bit on the average side, but the guitar work is splendid. Another favorite track is Dressed In White, which might be tagged with a "Geek Punktronica" label. The song is very entertaining, both lyrically and sonically. Ben Petrella takes lead vocals on Life Ain't No Day On The Beach, sounding a bit like David Byrne singing a Reggae/Rock tune. This is probably a killer tune when done live. The Echelons close out with My Best Friend, a broken heart song that's young but poignant.

The Echelons might be young but I suggest you take them seriously. There are a few songs here that just don't work, but when everything clicks, The Echelons are highly entertaining. Don't Kiss Her Face is the sort of album you'll be trying to hunt down five years from now when they hit the big time, and probably paying big money for on eBay. The mix of humor and intelligence bodes well for the growth of the band as songwriters, and musically they are already all they need to be. Make time, and room for The Echelons. They're not going away.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Echelons at You can purchase Don’t Kiss Her Face as either a CD or download through - Wildly's World

"The Echelons At C.W.'s Place"

The Echelons- Don’t Kiss Her Face

Artist: The Echelons
Title: Don’t Kiss Her Face
Style: Pop/Rock
Label: Petrella Promotions
Rating: 7.8 out of 10
By C.W. Ross

The band, The Echelons, harkens back to the 70’s when family groups where all the rage. The band’s lineup is the Petrella family’s dad Ben (guitars, vocals), daughter Jessica (vocals, keys), and son Louis (vocals, guitar, keys) along with neighbors Brian-Binger-Santo (bass) and Brandon Grande (drums).

Besides dad Ben who has previous musical experience having played with the bands, The Drive-Ins and King Neptune & Wally World, the group is made up of fresh faced teenagers. The band’s press material describes them as a, ’sort of modern day partridge family with a punk rock attitude, except for the fact that they do play their own instruments and write their own songs.’

The well known phrase, ‘diamond in the rough,’ fits this group perfect. As I listened to the music found on Don’t Kiss Her Face, the band’s debut release, I could hear the talent coming through in their music, but I could also detect, that like a fine wine takes time to age and become its best this band needs to get some more musical road miles underneath their belt to hit their full stride.

Also the production found on this release just didn’t work for me. When I first put the CD in to my stereo and hit the play button I had to almost double my normal volume setting to be able to hear the music without having to strain my ears. Also some of the vocal effects that were used on the songs felt really out of place. Some of the songs also felt like they should have been edited just a little bit more to give them a tighter feel.

All of the things that I’ve mentioned are easy fixes and more on the technical production side then actual music related ones.

Now let’s get on to the positives found on this release. The songs use a mixture of both female and male lead vocals. For me the female ones worked best as I think that Jessica Petrella is old enough that her vocals chop are fully developed.

Jessica also has an interesting vocal style that changes to adapt to each song, at times she had an early Debbie Harry (Blondie) punk attitude found on them, while at other times her vocals reminded me more of Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette.

The songs that feature male lead vocals I didn’t like as much. I don’t think that it’s a matter of talent; I just think that the young singer needs a few more years for his vocals to fully develop to the point of being able to carry a song with them.

The songs also feature a lot of backing vocals in them. While most of them fit the songs and brought something new to them, the band just needs to be careful to not over do it and go too far with overusing them in their songs.

The songs found on Don’t Kiss Her Face are mostly driven by their guitar parts along with the many guitar intros and solos that are also found in them. The drum beats are steady and like a train station conductor keep the songs on track.

“Remember Me,” is the first track and it gets things off to a nice start with its up tempo guitar parts and lyrics that deal with young love, a subject which is dealt with a lot in the songs found on this release.

I also have to mention the song, “Life Ain’t No Day on the Beach,” a novelty song that features a reggae beat that’s driven by hard edge guitars that make it work well. The song deals with growing up and having to get a job and losing your free time spent at the beach.

Don’t Kiss Her Face ends on a really strong note with the song, “My Best Friend.” This song is mostly a piano lead ballad except for a controlled rock guitar part that’s also found in it.

This song really let the vocals shine with their passionate words dealing with the lost of a boyfriend because he cheated on you with your best friend, hence the song’s title.

While for the reasons I mentioned in my review this release isn’t a home run for the band, I do think that it should act as a very solid foundation that they can build upon to move their musical career ahead to the next level.

Posted in Music, Pop Reviews, Rock Reviews | Tags: Don't Kiss Her Face, Petrella Promotions, The Echelons, The Echelons- Don't Kiss Her Face


"Don't Kiss Her Face"

Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Echelons - Don't Kiss Her Face

Bud Martin Productions

The Echelons have a lot going for them: quirky lyrics, a 1970s-inspired family ensemble, and fun tunes. Made up of father Ben Petrella, children Jessica and Louis, and neighbors Brian Santo and Brandon Grande, the Echelons make their debut with Don't Kiss Her Face.

Jessica is nineteen years old, and brother Louis is only twelve; this multi-generational dynamic gives the band a distinct aesthetic. At times, the band creates a light, west coast sound while the driving rhythms and prominent guitar conjure hints of punk rock.

My favorite song on the album is the title track. Its musical cohesion and witty lyrics tell the story of a high school girl who is too obsessed with her appearance. The band warns possible suitors that “she ain’t got a face until she puts it on in the morning.” Jessica leads the vocals on this piece, unraveling a yarn about a girl that all the boys can’t help gawking at, but who is, inevitably, artificial. I found this song to be a refreshing look at young women and self-image.

While the vocals on some tracks on Don't Kiss Her Face are a little rough around the edges, I am impressed overall with the musicality of the album. Jessica’s voice is clear and wonderfully folksy; I was left wishing she had been featured on more of the tracks. Brandon’s solid drumming and Ben’s strong guitar rifts kept the fledgling group grounded. This group’s funky lyrics and family-style band make them a stand-out in modern rock.

Review by Cristin Colvin
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Key Terms: 1970s music, family, folk pop, folk punk, guitar, indie music
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Don't Kiss Her Face ( 11 song CD )



The Echelons are a sort of modern day Partridge Family with a punk rock attitude , except for the fact that they do play their own instruments and write their own songs.They got their start back in 2005 when Louis Petrella , then just 8 years old got a hold of his sister Jessica's "American Idiot"
album. After that he became a huge Green Day fan , acquired all their albums and taught himself just about every one of their songs on guitar. "He started to want to jam every day " says dad Ben (former guitarist for The Drive-Ins and Bassist for King Neptune & Wally World )Pretty soon they formed a band just for the fun of it with the 20 something year old kids who lived across the street, Brian "Binger" Santo on bass and Brandon Grande on drums.They played a few gigs at The San Diego County Fair , Church Fiestas and private parties and such. they also would play some of Jessica's originals with Jessica on vocals and keyboards. In early 2008 they finally got serious and decided to work on only originals and record an album of 11 songs , "Don't Kiss Her Face ". Now they are looking to start really gigging a lot and touring. "It keeps me young " says Ben. "The most joy in the world I get from playing music with my kids. And Binger and Brandon are just like part of the family now." They are a young band , after all their average age is 25 but Louis helps that average a lot.
Their Music is a blend of styles , sort of like Alannis Morrissett meets The Stones meets The Ramones. Between Jessica's piano oriented ballads to the more harder edged punkier songs that Louis sings , to the rockin' blues licks that their old man Ben plays , they cover some ground. " Jessica is a true artist. Besides from being quite a ballerina , she also loves to paint. She got her first taste of the spotlight when she was 12 years old and cast as Dorothy in the Coast Kids Theatre Production of "The Wizard of Oz". She also started writing songs around that age. Two of them , "World of her own" and "My Best Friend" are featured on the album. Now that Jessica is 18 in 2008 and with the help of her brother Louis and dad Ben on guitars, and Binger and Brandon in the rhythm section , she is looking forward to bringing her music to the world.