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CD REVIEW: Echo Arcadia - Beauty in the Average Life
By Cyrus Rhodes - 01/21/2014 - 01:19 PM EST

Artist: Echo Arcadia
Album: Beauty in the Average Life
Label: Spectra Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: High Hopes, Love Song, Sparks
Weakness: More solo segments, Winded songs
CD Review:

Echo Arcadia is the Edinburgh, Scotland based alternative indie septet of Leigh Moyes (Lead Vocals/ Rhythm Guitar), Vonny Moyes (Lead Guitar / Vocals), Euan Mushet  (Bass), Dan Ciesielski (Drums), Kev Tierney (Guitar / Vocals /Trumpet), Pete Nicholson (Keys / Vocals) and Andrew Gray (Violin / Vocals). Their latest full length relsae is entitled Beauty in the Average Life (2013).  

The CD gently takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Sparks”.  This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of psychedelic musical indulgence. Track 2 “High Hopes” keeps things rocking with its walking bass line, psychedelic groove, impressive keyboard touches and accents painted against a grand mosaic of vivid sound. The striking musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Love Song” is an impressive electro-earthy piece that is quite dynamic, full of tasty keyboard chops, and musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as Punk, Alternative Rock with a UK Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental type music with classic remnants of the British invasion glory days. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical rocked out ambience and all things rock n’ roll related. You will also notice rich layers of instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamics, Organ, Piano, Horns, solo guitar, well placed harmonies, low end rhythm section, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. Moyes showcases some impressive singing with an appealing vibrato, and impassioned feel. His signing works well across the board and at times he actually reminds me of Maynard Keenan (Tool) .Echo Arcadia have clearly proves themselves with this latest release. They all possess solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, Echo Arcadia  dishes out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated.  From hypnotic “Apple Moon” to striking “Into Another Day” to melancholy “Hide and Seek” to melodic “Four Lights” to heartfelt “joker” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Lucinda” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.   

I wish there were more solo segments throughout. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.

Echo Arcadia’s latest rrelease Beauty in the Average Lifeis a compelling musical journey. These 7 pretty much rock the house. Its strong suit is its amazing sonic ambience and song for song musical flow. These guys and gals gets high marks from me for their brilliant musical approach bringing in much instrumentation and musical variety. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing trippy ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This progressive somewhat trippy format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the party takes you.  So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance and a psychedelic rock aftertaste, then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest CD from Eco Arcadia right away.

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