5 Reasons Why ‘Gulp’ by ECHO KID is One of the Best Albums You’ve Never Heard

They’ve received hardly any radio airplay. They’ve only ever played one show. There aren’t any physical copies of their recordings available anywhere. And they have so few Facebook followers that the whole lot of them could probably fit comfortably in your house.

Yet I believe that Perth act, Echo Kid, have already achieved great things, simply because of the brilliance of their debut recording (which you can stream here or at the bottom of this page).

So here are 5 reasons why you should follow that link right now, devour the entire album, and start spreading the word about this criminally-neglected music-baby.

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1. Every Track is A Winner

People say that a chain is only as strongest as it’s weakest link. People also say that vaccines will give you autism – so obviously they can’t always be trusted – but in this case I think they are on to something. I love being able to listen to an LP all the way through without feeling an urge to skip a track, and that’s no problem with ‘Gulp’. In fact it’d be hard to pick a favourite song (though at a push I think I’d choose the slightly sinister-sounding, Talk). The whole thing flows along nicely, often moving from giddily upbeat to chilled out within the space of one song, but without the transition ever feeling too sudden. It’s the kind of thing that established bands spend decades trying (and usually failing) to achieve.

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2. It’s Fun on a Bun (Without Being Daft)

It takes about 45 seconds for it to become obvious that Echo Kid don’t want to be taken too seriously. Right from the start there is a playfulness to every sound and every lyric, and it’s clear that their main aim is to put a childlike smile on your grumpy, adult face. But there’s nothing here that could be dismissed as novelty – and there are definite smarts behind the silliness. Perhaps that shows through most of all on Meet You at the Bomb Factory – a song that manages to be cute and romantic while also touching on themes of war and detachment.

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3. It Expertly Walks the Fine Line Between Electro and Rock

Call me old-fashioned but, for the most part, I don’t really like electronic music. If given a choice between a guitar chord and a synth squeal – I will take the guitar any day. I may also then smash your synth with the guitar for good measure.

So it’s quite a feat that Echo Kid have made an album that I really like, despite it being full of electronic squeaks and whirrs. It all works because they’ve hit on a great balance where the synths and the guitars complement each other, rather than overpower one another.

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4. It’s Kooky But Never Pretentious

I can’t say that I find Echo Kid’s music all that strange, but it’s telling that the only review by a Triple J presenter on their Unearthed page starts with “This is pretty weird stuff”. The band themselves describe their music as “unorthodox “and “never far from a sense of madness”, so you know that at the very least it’s the kind of thing that would make your nearest commercial radio station run a mile. To me, the kookiness is all part of the appeal, but let’s be clear about one thing – this is pop music through-and-through. Every track is centred around memorable melodies, conventional song structures, and radio-friendly running times. In fact, one of my few complaints about the album is that I wish that the band had given in to self-indulgence every now and stretched out some of the tracks for longer.

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5. The Production is Brilliant

One half of the act is Perth music producer, Laurie McCallum, so as you’d expect, the production is spot on (the other half is illustrator, Johnny Foley). The record has really benefited from Laurie being able to take his time with tweaking different elements and adding plenty of layers. I know that its not the fault of local bands that they can’t afford more than a few hours at a time in a studio, but it’s a nice change to have something that doesn’t sound like it was thrown together within half an hour in a tin shed.

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So that’s enough chit-chat. Now stop wasting time and get listening! You can also learn more about the band here and become a true Gecko Squid (suggested name for Echo Kid fans).

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5 Responses to 5 Reasons Why ‘Gulp’ by ECHO KID is One of the Best Albums You’ve Never Heard

  1. stephen1001 says:

    New to me, thanks for the suggestion!
    Good to see you back Andy, hope all is well with the growing family!

  2. Aine Casey says:

    Glad I stumbled on your blog. Thanks for the introduction to echo kid – it’s good stuff

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