Curtains closed against the sun, patchouli incense burning the day away. A broken red rose, a helicopter explodes in slow-mo on a TV screen. Blood drips onto black velvet...
Where Echoes End then - they take this shit seriously. Frowning against the Australian sun they assemble intricate, dark, brooding and bad-tempered gothic electronica. Yes. And you thought they didn’t make ‘em like this anymore? Actually, no-one ever did, or at least not this complete.
Composer Eddie Katz conjures up something strange here. Shivering cold beats here, haunted house tinklings there, and often laid over some In The Nursery style programmed strings, it‘s a deeply eclectic soundtrack that stops, starts, swoops and ricochets into layers of disjointed harmony. Sounding like the Twin Peaks theme in 4/4 time or Delirium before they decided to pander to the Ibiza crowd, Where Echoes End‘s music swirls and dives into unfathomable darkness. With faces like slapped arses, you can bet.
And then it hits the dancefloor...
With a voice like two-parts cigarettes and one part absinthe, MichelAngela (proper pop star name! Ace!) comes on like a less annoying, but no less mannered, Roisin Murphy of * Moloko* ‘fame’. Her whooping then breathy mellifluous vocals whisper bitter[sweet] nothings of an amour bloody, brutal and unbowed: MichelAngela‘s roses may be broken and withered but their thorns can still scratch your eyes out.
She adds a seedy glamour to the music. Thus songs like ‘Make Up Your Mind‘ and ‘No One I Know‘, which have unrelenting, icy rhythms reminiscent of Front Line Assembly, run down ink-black side streets to hot, dark and dank basement clubs and ‘One Silver Dollar' becomes a My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult-like midnight cruise through the sleazy parts of the city, stopping at the Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret - seedy city, seeeedy people!
Though MichelAngela adds a certain richness, the lyrics can still be a bit overwrought and arch with a morbid preoccupation with all things B L E A K, but, at their best, Where Echoes End remind us when our fantasy world becomes overgrown, it can strangle and suffocate as much as the bleakest reality.
6David Merryweather's Score