June already... and we're headed into a Summer that promises to drop some serious heat, starting with the newest Onry offering in July. Can't wait for that! A quick note, if you visited last Friday hoping for the Dren EP and found that the link was missing, the problems been resolved. It's still up so feel free to download!
For now, I've chosen something a bit more obscure for my Wednesday review. Small Town Echoes is a live hip-hop / alt rock outfit from Bristol, UK that boasts an emcee as well as a gifted female vocalist. I stumbled onto them through an aimless Bandcamp browsing session when their first EP was new, and I have to say I enjoyed what I heard.
Small Town Echoes is sort of reminiscent of Heiruspecs in their sound, with an emphasis on more rhythmic guitar playing utilizing lots of reverb and palm muting. Their songwriting is melodic with the female singer carrying most of the choruses to good effect. The beats move steadily but have a melancholy tone, which goes well with lyrics that touch on the struggles inherent in a class based society and the frustrations that result. I feel like this would be more for the hip hop fans that also enjoy modern rock (with punk sensibilities), as there is a very heavy alternative rock influence present in these songs.
Since this a rap blog, I'll go ahead and say the emcee is not my favorite thing about this group. Stylistically he's not very unique; his voice does work with the music, and I enjoy some of his lyricism but often his delivery falls a bit flat and he fails to justify his presence on some songs. On the other hand I feel like the band as a whole does offer something with a fairly original sound, and he has the potential to mature as an artist and meld better with the group. I'd love to hear what they sound like after a few more years of working together, but that seems unlikely to happen (more on that below).
Here's a video for "Pot Luck", the b-side on the Break the Mould single offered on Bandcamp. It's a good taste of what Small Town Echoes is about:
Tales Around the Calor Gas is probably not the place to start for the curious. It's mostly live recordings and live sessions, although it does have a nice studio track as the closer ("Pack of Wolves"). Hearing these songs live makes discerning the lyrics a bit difficult, and the sound is obviously more raw. But you can tell the songs are well written and the band certainly doesn't lack in passion.
So Small Town Echoes has dropped 3 EPs at present on Bandcamp, and from a brief communication with the guitarist it seems that the band may be moving on, sans the emcee, as "Kin". The vocalist Kassia Gawronski has a great voice, so for those who like to branch out from rap music it could be something to keep an eye out for.
That's about all I have for today. I don't know much about the band in question. However, I do hope that all of you enjoy the chance to check out something a bit different, and definitely stay tuned this Friday for something seriously dope...
Get Tales Around the Calor Gas here for free download, and check out Small Town Echoes' other work as well, also offered for whatever you're willing (or not) to spare.
Also, once again an official thank you from UGF to Ludz for the NWO (Deepcave)! Not only has he been hooking me up with music for years via his former blog, he's also seriously contributed to the pruning of my Holy Grail list. Thanks dude, you kick ass!