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Album Reviews : Gone is Gone – Echolocation

By on January 5, 2017

echolocation_album_art

You might think, looking at the illustrious pedigree of the members of this ‘supergroup’ (including members of Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age and At the Drive-In), that Echolocation would be a stoner rock fan’s wet dream. However, this album is way way more than just another stoner album.

Obviously the stoner rock elements are there, and there in force, but this band takes that influence and puts a nuclear bomb under it, sending shards of sound off in all directions. They challenge the listener with ambient and experimental psychedelia (check out the bizarre but mesmerising Dublin), brooding, slow-burning atmospherics (Colourfade), relatively straightforward up-tempo rock (Fast Awakening), quiet, wistful acoustic interludes (Resolve), and stuff that simply refuses to be described, let alone categorised (see Roads).

Put the album closer and title track in the ‘uncategorisable’ category too, it has just so much going on across its six and a half minute length it’s virtually impossible to pin it all down, juxtaposing stringy orchestral manoeuvres, Middle-Eastern influences, stomping blues grooves, ethereal vocals and just about anything else they can throw at it, without interrupting the flow and destroying the cohesiveness of the piece. And, in the end, it works an absolute treat and squares off the album in magical fashion.

Almost everywhere across the album’s length is a sense of dark, theatrical and moody ambience, underpinned by the subtle power that comes from the band members’ foundational sounds and influences. It comes across like a vocally-oriented movie soundtrack with a subtle injection of stoner, heavy blues and rock. Which is unsurprising, since members Tony Hajjar and Mike Zarin also have their own production and licensing company, that has been involved in creating music and sound for sci-fi and fantasy films and TV shows such as Inception, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, X-Men and more.

This is an album that must be experienced several times, to ensure that the listener absorbs everything that’s going on and thus attains full enjoyment of this incendiary work.

Band: Gone Is Gone
Album: Echolocation
Year: 2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Cooking Vinyl Australia
Origin: USA

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.