SPC ECO - Sirens and Satellites

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7.5 Release Date:2014-09-09

SPC ECO (ie, Space Echo)’s fourth album gets a local release in the US, Canada, Japan, and Southeast Asia, expanding their highly infectious sound and influences to even further corners of the indie world. Ex-Curve instrumentalist Dean Garcia teamed up with his daughter Rose Berlin about seven years ago and the prolific pair have since released nearly two dozen albums, EPs, and singles.

If you’re new to the project, Sirens and Satellites in a perfect jumping in point, full of ethereal atmospherics, snazzy EDM manoeuvers, nugaze flourishes (a Saint Marie specialty), and Berlin’s breathy, soaring vocals – not unlike David Lynch’s muse, Julee Cruise, Cocteau Twin Liz Fraser and Cranes’ Alison Shaw. ‘Fallen Stars’ floats across the night sky like a burning comet smothered in molasses, ‘Delusional Waste’ is a bouncing dancefloor magnet full of electronic 80s new wave vibes, while ‘Hold You Up’ and painful, tearkerking closer ‘Found’ soften the attack with introspective ballads which demonstrate this band cannot be pigeonholed into tiny little genre envelopes.

If you’re in the mood for shaking your groove-thang, hop and bop around the room to the Hi-NRG strut of ‘High on It’; if hardcore slamdancing’s more to your liking, throw your weight into ‘Make Me Say’, and if you like headswirling guitar atmospherics with a gothic overtone, a la The Cure, well, ‘Hold on Me’ is right up your alley. Then there’s that sexy-as-fuck title track, which brings a little arthouse bump-and-grind to the party – like an industrialised Madonna!

An act with this many influences and styles is bound to have something to please everyone, and Garcia’s worked with everyone from KMFDM to Jeff Beck, so there’s lots of cross-genre toe-dipping and box-ticking along the way. It’s not dark enough to be 'shoegoth', not singleminded enough to be a purely dance record, and not a bunch of pretentious, swooshy, avant-garde cinematic sound effects (although the interminably meandering and experimental ‘Don’t Need Fear’ could’ve used some scissors or been dropped altogether), so jump in and take a chance.

I’d prefer a little more editing of some of the lengthier tunes, which tend to ramble a bit (almost all the tracks are close to or over five minutes). But overall, I think you’ll enjoy more of it than you might expect from a band who really have to do something about that name!

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