New Icons of a Vile Faith
Echo Beds are true in every sense of the word, contemporary industrial altruists. Currently residing in Denver, they outsource influence from a specific niche lineage that was in and of itself mechanically fabricated to mirror the past in favor of the future. Specializing in both consumer electronics and homemade contraptions, these noise fetishists are veterans to their craft. Having seen them perform numerous times, they come bearing body bags full of hardware, a battalion of 8×10 cabinets, broken cymbals, television monitors, oil drums, and other unnecessary but probably necessary gadgets. Each piece has its own part in the orchestrated spirit of destruction. Encompassing the parameters of whatever turf they inhabit, they don’t play in the room; instead, they play the room.
Horror inspired, bastard electronic noise punk akin to Lungs-era Big Black, if such a comparison could be made, given the permission of Steve Albini of course. The new icons are razor sharp gradually dulling down – the more the stone hits the bone. This is guaranteed to make any art school kid or their outsider wannabe equivalent, oscillate anywhere within the spectrum of stupidity between dancing and moshing. This is where the pit literally takes form and becomes a quarry. So, pack your North Face backpack with blunt objects and the rusted power tools you stole from your friend’s basement. This is some pretty primitive, coming of age shit.
Politically charged and marred with a devastatingly brutal approach to the reality of our anthropogenic turmoil. Not much is overwrought; in fact, there is a certain level of raw efficacy that has been carefully controlled over a slow, gestating period of time. This triumphs comparatively to previous efforts, where attentiveness to detail, songwriting and structure was absent from the record. Before, tracks were indistinguishable and committed to great length, whereas now there is brevity and composure. I feel as if the echo has finally come back around and found a voice in which to speak. The language is clear.
The Echo Beds record begins with a monologue of last words muffled through an intercom. The flies buzzing at the end omit the lingering threat of death. The transmission is lost as it bleeds seamlessly static into the next track, with the kind of girth and distorted bass that gets me off when I’m alone in a dark room. The obvious signs of a forced entry can be summed up as an innocent music box playing out the exit theme to a violent crime. In the distance, you can hear belt sanders being pressed to skin, teetering in and out like a revelation waiting to surface. This is the band that should have been playing while the Titanic was sinking. This is real mood music for a site-specific tragic incident that will easily be forgotten.
Rummaging through junk, we salvage the ruins of monuments, natural wonders and the machinery of our ancestors. Licking our wounds in the company of those that have imposed them upon us. We lead linear lives in search of a safe haven, as our devices – relics of the present – float downstream along the neon, brackish water. The surge before death manifested. Our lives existed and were once lived on these platforms. Snuffing out the now obsolete, entities into mounds of dust where chunks of discolored metal pollenate the now decaying earth. The future machines have started to breed, giving rise to new icons of a vile faith, to worship and embrace. (Stephen Proski)