Scarlet Echo – An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular

SE_RingMaster Review

Starting off 2016 in fine style, we look at an album released just a few weeks back with keen intrigue inspired by the more recent single taken from its compelling body. An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular is the debut album from Scarlet Echo, a UK band whose sound, self-described as ferocious echospheric music, expertly sparks ears and imagination into eager involvement.

Proof came with the single Emergency Exit last month, a song stirring up ears and appetite with invention sprung from a fusion of post punk and indie rock. An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular quickly shows that its nature is only one hue in the musical tapestry of the band, a design equally woven from varied electronic and shoegaze nurtured threads. Since forming in 2012, the Essex hailing quartet of Hannah (vocals/guitar), Jamie {guitar), Miles (Bass), and Alex (drums/samples) has incited a healthy buzz and following through their live presence, the sharing of stages with the likes of Bassment Jaxx, Rat Boy, Hadouken, Buzzcocks, The Hoosiers, and Department S amongst highlights. Now they have begun brewing a greater intensity of attention their way through An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular, a tempting in force from its first moments.

Album opener Mainstream swiftly stirs ears with bounding rhythms and dramatic melodies, both aspects as shadowy as they are vibrant whilst laying down the platform for the distinctive vocal presence of Hannah. Miles’ throbbing bassline makes a just as gripping entrance; its post punk throatiness the perfect foil to the Lesley Woods (Au Pairs) like tone of Hannah’s voice. The emerging catchiness of the song draws in all these magnetic hues, in turn creating a flirtatiously gripping stroll part eighties and part modern persuasion.

ALBUM-ARTWORK-FRONT_RingMaster Review   It is a thrilling start to the album, fully waking ears and attention for the following calmer mystery of Factory Floor to play with. Coldly atmospheric and romantically melodic, the track taunts and caresses the imagination with, again, a blend of melodic and raw textures. The Passions come to mind as the song writhes impressively within ears, but as shown time and time again, Scarlet Echo twist any elements into their own imaginative devilment; a Talking Heads spiced bassline perfect evidence from within the excellent encounter.

A fiery climate is explored by the sonic heat of Mass Production next, the addictive song a sultry resonance of sound and emotion driven by tenacious rhythms quickly matched in success by the sizzling blues wrung blaze of Technophobia. Its fire is interspersed with evocative slithers of calm, though it is the almost occultist air of the blistering rock expulsions which steals the show within the brief but scintillating proposition. The song shows yet another side to the band’s sound, its volatile might at times like a mix of Jingo and Jess & the Ancient Ones.

Falling Prey offers an instrumental relaxation from the fire, its shimmering melodic beauty and warm ambience enticingly mesmeric before making way for the boisterous adventure of Emergency Exit. The track opens with a splattering of guitar tempting, those bubbling lures soon joined by The Cure like potency of the bass. The minimalistic landscape of the song is beguiling, almost Young Marble Giants like on its way to brewing a livelier and thicker contagion driven by dynamic rhythms, guitar jangling, and the excellent character of the vocals. As a single the song impressed but fair to say it has only grown in stature over time, creating another major pinnacle of An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular.

The smoky jazzy air of Paradigm envelops the senses straight after to fine effect; its charm and muggy seducing an absorbing temper to the revelry of its predecessor whilst casting its own hard to resist instrumental flight into imagination feeding pastures and provocative aural scenery. Its potency is emulated and surpassed by the outstanding Silicone City, its unique exploration a trigger to adventurous thoughts and heavily pleased ears as guitar and voice simmer and sway over the tempestuous incitement of bass and drums.

The album is brought to a close by firstly the sonically evocative, ambience soaked Ataraxy and lastly the poppier shuffle of Lose Control. Neither track quite lives up to what came before them yet each has body and satisfaction eagerly on board with their creative and dramatic captivations.

Scarlet Echo is a band destined to further transfix and thrill as they grow and creatively spring from this impressive debut. An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular may have been released at the tail end of 2015 but for a new year of musical exploration we could not have got things off to a better start.

An Exact Portrayal of Nothing in Particular is out now through iTunes or at http://scarletecho.bigcartel.com/product/an-exact-portrayal-of-nothing-in-particular

http://www.scarletecho.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/scarletecho    https://twitter.com/scarletecho

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2016

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