The Lancashire, Blackburn-based collective, ECHOGLASS, is a musical vehicle for core members DA McKenna, Remmy and Bo, who release their creations through Darkhouse Recordings. Their work is musically and lyrically distinct, and from the beginning they have always transcended the generic constraints of UK indie pop, punk and rock. Reinventing their blended sound on each release. While most of their contemporaries are electronic based clones, ECHOGLASS’ latest single “Hard”, inspires and delights with its guitar driven engine room. Going against the current tide, the band’s music is intense, introspective and acutely observant – a wholly alternative world view. The lead vocals are distinctive and the guitar work exemplifies jangle, crunch and inventiveness. From the resonant keyboard work to the solid drumming, some of ECHOGLASS’ finest work is here.
Their innate understanding of human nature, the ugly pieces we hide from ourselves, is the DNA of many ECHOGLASS songs. An exact blend of wit and melancholy, as well as the uniquely British charm that cannot be manufactured. “Hard” is remarkably assured, with the group having figured out their signature “back to basics” sound.
The band has never sounded swaggeringly tougher. Going for the throat. Jumping into the fray with nary a thought of taking any prisoners. Blistering guitars, muscular bass and drums. Lyrics that take the words right out of your mouth and fling them in your face: “Heading down to the West End. Focused. Eager. Looking for it. Walking with your swinging arms. Purpose is your middle name.”
Musically, lyrically, and stylistically, “Hard” is in its own lane. With the bass and keys ducking in and out of the singing, in particular with the guitar trilling in the background, this is a very well put together song. If anything it shows the musical skills of the band, and the power of the lead voice that sounds more than meaningful.
If you are at all familiar with the music of ECHOGLASS, you will know that their lyrics are part of the same school as those of the likes of Morrisey, Thom Yorke and Roger Waters; looking at everyday life with an often cynical eye. “Hard” catches fire musically from the opening bars, and will impact people in many different ways.
“Hard” provides enough meat on its bones to be a worthwhile listen for those nostalgic for the sound of the musical roots that once led to Britpop and Indie Rock. Production techniques so often obscure the bones of potentially great song craft, but that doesn’t happen here.
The lush enveloping melody, the impossibly expansive vocals, the contrast of the crunching guitars and reverberating keys are gorgeously evident. They represent ECHOGLASS at the peak of their powers. Musically, “Hard” toes a line between consistency and adventurousness. Yet for all its raw immediacy, there’s an overarching crystalline elegance that polishes the record into a stunning glaze.
ECHOGLASS is a group that has evolved over the course of each release, whether they’re leaning backward or looking forward. “Hard” sees them roll all their influences together, and it’s the kind of moment that might just take your breath away.