Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
City of Echoes
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Metal
the band that brought you australasia and the fire in our throats will beckon the thaw (decibel magazine's album of the year for 2005) returns with opus number three, a series of (r)evolutionary instrumental ruminations on... more »
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the band that brought you australasia and the fire in our throats will beckon the thaw (decibel magazine's album of the year for 2005) returns with opus number three, a series of (r)evolutionary instrumental ruminations on touring and the homogenous effects of globalization. with shorter songs and expanded catchiness, city of echoes is pelican's "pop album," according to guitarist laurent schroeder-lebec, a deftly executed reminder that these dudes can do whatever they feel like and still make those hairs on the back of our necks stand up like tiny little boners. which is a-okay by us, because whenever lsl and fellow guitarist trevor de brauw join forces with the now-la-based herweg brothers--larry (drums) and bryan (bass)--to form the ultimate instrumental quadrangle, it's all shazzam! and the next thing you know, they're dropping so many suckas with all those sweet, victorious riffs that it begins to feel like chicago in july, when everybody's air-conditioners simultaneously shit the bed and the old folks start piling up like logs at the city morgue. when the heat wave passes and the humidity subsides, the pelican dudes stand on top of the proverbial heap, possibly hoisting a chalice of some type--maybe even a sword, but not in a manowar kind of way--as the reverberations from their own amplified gloriousness rain upon their heads (and all of our heads, really) like manna from heaven. amen.
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Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anxiously awaiting this release was not without merit, because I know by now after Australasia and "Fire in our Throats..." that these guys don't deal out filler. With the varying differences in overall structure between the albums "Australasia" (released 2003) and "The Fire in our throats will beckon the thaw" (2005) I was very curious to see where exactly the new album "City of Echoes" would land.
Needless to say that they are heading much more into the ethereal and eclectic territory I found with the previous release, but are still able to retain some hard edges when it comes to great riffs throughout an album. If any song displays this nice mix, it is the first one titled "Bliss in Concrete" which, like many of the tracks on this album, is a bit shorter in length than some of the marathon tracks of the previous album. Despite shorter time within a track, these guys are still able to put a ton of structure in melody and varying time sequences throughout the song. For one song that clocks in less than six minutes, the first track has enough depth to it to be granted its own universe. For an instrumental album, Pelican does an excellent job of producing varying harmonies that are both uplifting and dark and come out with an overall solid song. When experiencing a Pelican album I think one thing that comes to mind is the word EFFORT. These guys are not just noodling around; they are creating some great instrument driven music.
The segments from the title track is no less powerful as "City of Echoes" is a song with some great driving guitars that is backed up by at times, a soulful and somber addition of ambience. If you are new to Pelican I would suggest starting out with Australasia, but if you like deep, instrumental rock/metal music that is minus the vocals then I doubt you will have any regrets if this album is your first listen of the band's music.
Within the tracks on this album there are some that stand out to me more than others, but overall I feel it is a complete album. There is enough art, texture and sonic soundscape here to chew on for quite some time...or at least until their next studio release, which again I will be anxiously waiting for.
A different direction for Pelican, but it's still a grand CD
Gobi Kalooki | California, USA | 06/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"City of Echoes is much different than its predecessor The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, but it triumphs beautifully. Many Pelican fans will write this off as "not heavy enough," but that would be an insult to the band. It still has the awesome sludgy riffs and dark melodies, but there is a different mood than their EP or their first two albums. From the rocking opener Bliss In Concrete to the gorgeous title track and to the epic album closer A Delicate Sense of Balance, this CD should please most Pelican fans and win over some new ones in the process."
Very Good, Just Different
Shanghaied | Carrollton, TX United States | 06/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Compared to their last LP, "The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw," City Of Echoes is a much safer release. Just looking at the track time and overall length of the album should lend some insight to this; the average track time of TFIOTWBTT was a whopping 8:20, whereas the average here is around 5:19 (admittedly, the latter's track count was greater by 1). The longest track in The Fire was over eleven minutes long, while Echoes longest, the title track, only measures in at 7. Also, City of Echoes is about 16 minutes shorter than TFIOTWBTT.
What this does to the sound is even more obvious; Echoes sounds much more organized and harmonic, even condensed when compared with TFIOTWBTT. Each song seems to sustain itself, though there is variation. For example, my personal favorite, track 3, begins with a simple, repeated piano note that in an almost symphonic progression is fleshed out into a full, more staggering chorus of guitar. The interesting aspect here is that it doesn't grow into a towering wave like, say "The Last Days of Winter" did on TFIOTWBTT, but has what you might consider checkpoints where the song grows. This could be anything from another guitar layer to a change in riffs. Either way the sound doesn't sneak up on you as it has on other releases, but rather jumps at you suddenly.
This album doesn't sound quite as epic; instead it sounds intelligent and meticulous, and I have to say that I grow more fond of its accessibility and forwardness with each listen. Perhaps you could slake it up to the band wanting a safer record as I already have, but the bottom line is that the music is still well executed and definitely exhibits movement and variation.
Personally, if I were to sum up the differences from previous releases I would have to say that structure has been emphasized in place of using space and tension. Not to say that these elements are entirely absent, they just aren't as dominant.
Either way, this is a very strong release with a satisfying albeit different sound. It may very well be that the band hoped to add some shorter pieces to their catalogue. If you were a fan before, the best advice (as always) is to listen to the album a couple times and personally decide about the differences."