This band, one of my most beloved of the long lost 80’s, effectively died for me w/ 1990’s Reverberation which featured a shitty replacement singer and hooks lifted straight from The Stone Roses, the reigning alt guitar gods of the day. So when the reunited Echo released Evergreen in 1997, I flat-out ignored it, despite the avalanche of praise the album received. No, strike that “despite;” I ignored Evergreen because of the praise which i took for mere corporate-funded hype. I was (and remain) a cynical prick. So I ignored all the subsequent releases as well, all five of them, all the way up to Meteorites (2014). Which strikes me as odd, writing this now. Cynical as I am, I have never been so steadfastly incurious about a band or writer or artist or filmmaker who once gave me pleasure. And man, I loved Echo’s first four albums so much, and maybe that was my problem. Those first four albums were the incessant soundtrack for a very potent period of my life, two C90 BSAF cassette dupes that were always in my car or in my stereo’s deck and played endlessly at 11 while I nursed a broken heart and endured Earth-shattering disappointments and shit like that. Yeah, this is something we can all relate to: one really can love something or someone too much. Duh.
Anyway, Echo came up in casual conversation the other day at The Creep’s new dayjob, and in the course of the chat a deep embarrassment fell over me like a lead-weighted net: one of my favorite bands, huh, yet I had willfully thumbed my nose at their last six albums? My poor widdle heart had healed a long time ago, I was a big boy now. I resolved to give the “new” Echo albums a spin.
I was pleasantly shocked.
The material felt familiar, yet new! That special, original and unique spark was still there! (Yes I’m making fun of myself.) Bottom line: the music was good. Very good. A certain band couldn’t hurt me. “That was long ago in another country, and I am a different man. Besides, the bitch is dead.” Chesterton. I think.
In the course of my explorations youtube kindly shoved this live performance from 2009 down my throat, and I said “Thank you sir may I have another.” This is an enormous concert, recorded right off the sound board so if somebody fucked up it would have been a sonic Nagasaki but amazingly there is not a single misstep, the entire gig is “note perfect.”
Here’s to resiliency, and new beginnings, and healed hearts. Aaw.