Amongst the press release notes and other guff that usually accompanies these discs was a reference to post-rock. Hmm? Well, maybe if I added the word "punk" in combination with both "post" and "rock", I'd be moving somewhat closer to the truth. Alternatively I could try to embrace terms such as "no wave" and "noise pop" in a vague attempt to move my sorry butt into the 21st Century. This is harsh abrasive stuff from Finland's Echo is Your Love, employing jagged, discordant guitars in an effort to complement their tribal, energy-ball of a singer.
It is probably fair to say that vocals are the fist thing to strike you about
this record. Lead singer Nea lurches from Siouxsie mode to Frank Chickens territory,
occasionally veering dangerously close to tuneful. She must gargle half a cup
of crushed glass before perfecting some of these yelps. The rest of the band
fall dutifully in behind in support of whatever she's doing. And it works.
Strangely and unpredictably these 11 songs can weave their own little effect
on you. If Xmal Deutschland covered Teardrop Explodes' Reward in the
style of The Fire Engines it may have sounded something like Three Ropes.
(Cough) Ahem, (I think I promised not to do those any more?) Sorry Brendan.
I have the feeling John Peel might have enjoyed Echo Is Your Love. Remembering
his delight for bands such as Shonen Knife, I can easily imagine this stuff
punctuating one of his shows. I'm also conscious of the fact that is the second
time I've mentioned a Japanese band and it's true there is something far eastern
about the music on Humansize. The lyrics too appear as though
they could have been translated to English from Japanese.
"A minor flirt
I'm with the Wolves again
No loving arms can reach me…
My face, your fist
A lesson I can't miss"
Whilst occasionally these lyrics venture into surrealist territory, for the most part they appear darkly autobiographical. So while the music tends to be caustic and angry, the occasional shifts into melodic mode prove quite effective. There is actually some decent songwriting on offer here and it helps having a relatively hard-hitting message behind it.
I believe Humansize to be Echo is Your Love's fourth LP. It
comes in a gatefold digi with lyrics and a beautiful photo of a girl with her
hand over her eyes (Nea?). I just want to put my arm around her shoulder.
From despair to where then? Decent stuff.