Echoes de Luxe
Hold On EP
I won't call this project pretentious, but the building guitar chords that overwhelm the singer on "Rat Race" recall the floating animals and blinding lights of a decent '70s stadium rock band. Quiet interludes appear, certainly, and they allow both the listener and the band to take a breath of precious oxygen. "The Ride" offers the same climb to the top followed by a jump into the ether, but this time the build is less pronounced and we get a feeling that broken romance is still the number one cause of pop songs just as it's always been. Eventually some depression kicks in. "Digging a Hole" maintains Richard Swan's distant and dark vocals; this song points back to Dylan's "Time Out of Mind" and its near suicidal desolation.
Is there a glimmer of sunlight on "Dead & Gone"? No, but the guitars have gotten it out of their system. Toss in a few C-chords and this could be a county lament. I'll note there are more than a few guitar players involved in this project -- besides Mr. Swan, there's Justin Knittel and Justin K Smith strumming on various tracks, plus Brahm Bourque hitting the bass on all six of these cuts. Musically solid and emotionally distraught, these guys don't need to stare at their shoes to make an impression.