Echo Screen

Goodbye Old Life EP

Written by: DR on 19/07/2009 18:08:16

Standing atop my playlist for some time now, has been "Goodbye Old Life". After a hiatus following a record label collapse, Echo Screen are back. Signing with ES Music, and drafting in Ace Enders to produce, "Goodbye Old Life" marks the return of a band just begging - and deservedly so - to become the soundtrack to your summer.

The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise for this New Jersey trio. Having dropped their pop punk sound which was so sugary it was almost certain to give you diabetes in favour of a more indie sounding offering this time round, drawing clear influences from indie heavyweights Death Cab For Cutie.

Though "Goodbye Old Life" is just five songs long, the evidence is there for all to hear - they are back, and with one hell of a bang. The opener, "I Amsterdam" is a song that could render Death Cab themselves paralysed with pride had it been their own, while "The Ballad of Jack Shepard (Battle Chorus)" takes a slightly more generic road, aiming for - and reaching - that 'big' sound, utilising the classic "whoa" but somehow making it sound fresh again. The icing on this cake however, is undoubtedly "Bombs Away", a largely acoustic offering tinged with old-school emo, and additional help provided by JT Sanford (who sounds similar to the vocalist from Tigers Jaw) who sets the song alight, providing superb balance to Shaune's vocals with his own distinguished croons.

"Goodbye Old Life" is Echo Screen achieving exactly what they've set out to do, precisely what the title suggests; leaving their old sound behind. They've managed to leave behind their exclusively powerpop sound and bring in new influences that the hiatus clearly brought about, progressing seamlessly, developing and improving their sound as if they are seasoned veterans of the genre.

When "The Open Door" hit my earphones I didn't for a single second consider the possibility of theirs being a better release in the genre that Death Cab pretty much dominate, the mere suggestion of a better release coming from a band most people have either forgot about or never even heard of would have had me in need of stitches to my sides. But here we are, and I type this as I eat my words, these aren't going to knock the veterans Death Cab off their perch just yet, but "Goodbye Old Life" certainly suggests Echo Screen have the potential to, at the very least, take up a seat next to them.


Download: I Amsterdam, Bombs Away
For The Fans of: Death Cab For Cutie, Day At The Fair, The Matches
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 04.08.2009
ES Records

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