Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Yeti Lane
The Echo Show
Sonic Cathedral
Rating: 4/5

Fucking hell. Has it really been a month since my last post? Okay, I mean I have been writing stuff for Prog and DIY but that does seem like quite a while even for me. Sheesh. Anyway, it's time for an album that nobody else was foolish enough to let me have a crack at - Yeti Lane's difficult second, The Echo Show. Now, I'm going to spoil the ending by pointing out that nearly every review has been overwhelmingly positive about this record, and I'm not about to break that trend. I am, however, going to talk about something other than the stunning first track, 'Analog Wheel'. Yes it's brilliant, kosmiche, swirling, physchedelia, Neu! etc., but there's also like an hour of other music on there that isn't getting mentioned. 

Without wanting to get into a track-by-track style review, an example of this would be the title track, (and track two) 'The Echo Show'; as more consistently found on the rest of the record, though it's fair to draw krautrock comparisons, perhaps more relevant sonic touchstones would be The Beta Band and (latterly) The Aliens. I'll grant that the drums do come very much from that heritage, but the spindly electronic fragments and ethereal vocals that define the record are of an altogether more modern pedigree. 'Logic Winds', for instance has the ring of The Flaming Lips or Nice Nice about it, while 'Alba' is like Jason Lytle's finest post-Grandaddy downtempo offerings. 

For me the real elephant in the room however is The Secret Machines - I mean, once you get over the obvious fact that Josh Garza isn't in the drum stool then there's definitely something beyond a simple liberal referencing of influences. I listen to 'Faded Spectrum' and hear the noisy wig-out that could have occurred if... wait... hang on... how did the beginning of 'First Wave Intact' go?

Anyway, whatever bands it sounds like, the record is sort of what everybody says it is; a great alternative record that touches playfully on the most tongue-in-cheek electronic sounds while still having the nous to accomodate a good, old-fashioned guitar wig out now and then. Brilliant.