Dead Leaf Echo- Pale Fire
Dead Leaf Echo
Pale Fire EP
May 6, 2008
Year of the Gallon
The moody mix of over-the-top affected vocals offered on Dead Leaf Echo’s 2008 EP, Pale Fire, takes an extraordinarily long time to digest. The band so openly attach themselves to the ethereal sprawl of shoegaze that it begs the question, are they…really? Elastic lazy vocals and saturated tremolo does not a shoegaze band make. Nothing illustrates this more completely than the emphasis the band has placed on their collaboration with Ulrich Schnauss who has previously worked with bands such as Depeche Mode and Cold Play. Schnauss mixed the title track to great effect. Other bands in the past such as Elliot have utilized cavernous gothic melodies and effeminate Morrisseian vocals to produce magnificent records, ones with no interest in misplaced comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, to which Dead Leaf Echo has no relation what so ever. Rather than a wall of noise, every track on Pale Fire, save Schnauss’ mix, is washed over with waves of transparent reverberation. The difference between the Schnauss assisted track and the rest of the record is stark.
It would be appropriate to take a moment to mention that Dead Leaf Echo is very talented. The EPs title track perfectly alchemizes the instrumentation and shapes the vocals masterfully. It is not a lack of force and or unbalanced production that depresses Pale Fire’s greatness, rather it is the presence of a track with such superior qualities that the others pale in comparison. I would entirely expect anyone who listens to 80’s post-punk and shoegaze to at enjoy the EP, especially as the band promises greater attention to detail, song structure, and production. Pale Fire’s title track can be seen as a down payment on a more intensive sound. It seems as though Dead Leaf Echo have all the raw talent and material to create truly brilliant music, now they simply need the direction and perspective to do it. On April 4th they release their newest work, Truth, mixed by another heavy hitter by the name of John Fryer who has worked with Nine Inch Nails and, you guessed it, Depeche Mode. I am eager to hear if they too heard and understood not only their shortcomings, but also their immense potential.
Faint Violet Whiff- 2006
April 4th – Cake Shop, NYC – Truth CD Release Party w/ Jaguar Club