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Aloha - Some Echoes (Cover Artwork)

Aloha

Aloha: Some EchoesSome Echoes (2006)
Polyvinyl Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With Here Comes Everyone, Aloha brought a warm, encircling sort of pop feeling to songs like "Boys in the Bathtub," "Water Your Hands," and a harder rocking sense to opener "All the Wars" and closer "Goodbye to the Factory." The album seemed to be a bit of a departure from Sugar, where the band seem.
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With Here Comes Everyone, Aloha brought a warm, encircling sort of pop feeling to songs like "Boys in the Bathtub," "Water Your Hands," and a harder rocking sense to opener "All the Wars" and closer "Goodbye to the Factory." The album seemed to be a bit of a departure from Sugar, where the band seemed to refine their blend of indie rock with their unique sense of melody and instrumentation, getting slight comparisons to prog-rock due to their use of time signatures and syncopation...

And why shouldn't it have been a slight departure from their original sound? It was their first album with newly recruited TJ Lipple, the multi-instrumentalist that took over the marimba duty as well as playing the mellotron and even taking over the drums from virtuoso Cale Parks on a few tracks, allowing him to play piano.

And now, in 2006, Aloha gives us Some Echoes, the second offering with Lipple. And, as the band has tend to have done in the past, the band's sound has again shifted. The angular guitar of singer Tony Cavallario has taken a backseat to the overall melody, allowing the marimba, keys, and bass to mesh into one smooth harmony that seems to swerve in and out, up and down, paying tribute to dynamics as well as time signature.

The album starts with "Brace Your Face," building from a soft drum part from Parks to a moving marimba line and soft guitar and doubled vocals featuring Cavallario's rich vocals with falsetto layered on top. The song builds until at the end when the mellotron comes in, sounding like an organ part from an old hymn. And that theme continues throughout the whole album, playing upon darker melodies than the more upbeat Here Comes Everyone. "Your Eyes," the third track features Parks' Copeland-esque polyrhythms with a poppier key line, forming a bridge between Some Echoes and past albums.

"Ice Storming," "Between the Walls," and "If I Lie Down," are all keyed-down tracks, playing on, well, melodic keyboard lines to move them with solid foundations provided by Matthew Gengler's bass. On "Between the Walls," the most recognizable line from the album comes in for the chorus: "Are we dying, as in dead, or are we being born again?" This line seems to permeate the album's attitude shift towards slightly darker subject matter and the gothic overtones of the hymn-like mellotron. The energy from "All the Wars" and "Goodbye to the Factory" seems to have been channeled into the tracks "Weekend" and "Summer Lawn," the previous being perhaps the closest Aloha gets to mimmicking the upbeat "Boys in the Bathtub" and the latter being the most aggressive track the band has attempted, featuring constantly moving drums, bass, guitar, and mellotron.

The album closes with "Mountain," which seems to be the climax that the rest of the album has been bubbling up to. Starting with an extremely uptempo bass and hi-hat sort of dance beat, the mellotron comes in as the driving force of the song, full out announcing itself as a rejoicing sort of modern hymn. Gengler's bass carries the low end of the song, bringing depth to the upbeat mellotron, switiching between mirroring the chord progression to leading it. And the lyrics bring out the final attitude of the album, turning semi-mournful full-length into something positive to walk away with:

One more layer of love is piled on / We're making a mountain / You could never dig a grave / Big enough for all of us
Upward ever, ever upward / We'll need a light on top to hase the planes away / but the birds can stay forever
We're on the fringe again / Grining bright in the moonlight / We're on the outside / Growing bright in the moonlinght, alright / Go with us into the night
A new layer of love is piled on / We're just getting warm / You could never build a jail strong enough to keep us apart
Upward ever, ever upward / We'll need a light out front to tell the left behind / that it's alright
And it's those parting, heartfelt, simplistic words that leave you with an all-around good feeling that makes you want to start the album all over again.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TheGhostOfPastMistakes (October 21, 2006)

Anyone who thinks any band reviewed on this site is better than Funeral Diner is only kidding themselves.

The only bands that even come close to Funeral Diner are Julia, Navia Forge, Aghast and Sed Non Satiata.

ruleof3rds (October 19, 2006)

This is possibly Aloha's strongest record to date. It demonstrates a more focused and mature type of songwriting without compromising the chaos, dissonance, intricate rhythms, counterintuitive chord changes and atypical song structure that comprise their signature.

Tracks that stand out include Summer Lawn with it's haunting opening melody that is eloquently counterpointed and divied up between the piano, organ and voice. Your Eyes smashes together some characteristic progressive artistry with a cheezy-yet-endearing hook line that one would not expect from a band like this. Ice Storming is the best example of the prevailing device of building a song around a sublty infectious keyboard-driven melody. Brace Your Face is an exhausting and satisfying journey that begs the listener to take it again to catch what he may have missed.

The remaining tracks are adequate besides perhaps Come Home which seems to read out of the Foo Fighters Alt-Ballad playbook and exemplifies what fans of Sugar may be dissapointed with in this record.

It is obvious now that Here Comes Everyone was a transitional album. Although this new sound may not strain the cranium to quite the degree of early work, their new level of accessibility makes them a band that you can finally play for friends and draw them in with a single listen. Possibly a gateway drug to Sugar.

Anchors (April 13, 2006)

Marimba for this record, they ditches the vibes.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

is it a marimba or a vibraphone? they're 2 completely different instruments.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

Yeah, this album is very weak. I love Sugar, liked the last release but always skip over these tracks on my IPod. Just isn't doing it for me. I'm still a fan but hopefully they'll get some balls again bring back what they achieved in Sugar.

Infrarecon (April 12, 2006)

This is the first Aloha album I've heard and I'm liking it, Weekend and Mountain are pretty good songs.

SilentStorms (April 12, 2006)

their myspace page isn't working ...

SilentStorms (April 12, 2006)

Alright I'll give'er a listen.

benz (April 12, 2006)

is "Protest Song" on this album? I love that song.

benz (April 12, 2006)

I'm going to see these guys on Friday open for the Appleseed Cast.

Speaking of which, where's the "Perregrine" review?

-benz

Anonymous (April 12, 2006)

I can. Funeral Diner are good, but nowhere near the league of this band.

Aloha is actually one of the better bands in existance right now. Funeral Diner are just good screamo.

-Will

SilentStorms (April 11, 2006)

Doesn't sound like my cup of tea. I don't like tea, but I still don't like this. I still can't believe you can give this 9/10 score and harp on Funeral Diner. Mindboggling. That might be two words ... I don't even know anymore.

Jesse (April 11, 2006)

Oh man, "Your Eyes" is one of the best songs on here.

danperrone (April 11, 2006)

that is truly interesting

i don't know, i just can't get into this, and always turn on sugar right after this...plus i can't listen to "your eyes" and take it seriously, that sond just turns me off so much

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

I'll try to get my hands on this sometime this year. I dunno, I'm not interested in ordering several CDs from Polyvinyl, and no doubt will this be overpriced in stores, so I'll have to wait for now.

-Chinatown

kindofalongwaydown (April 11, 2006)

Good shit.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

even with cale parks being some what of an ass (he needs to stay the fuck out of joan of arc), this album is great and even better when listened to on drugs! lots of them!!! just try it you punks. hahahaha

Jesse (April 11, 2006)

danperrone -

Funny you should mention that...here's a snippet from the ongoing e-mail interview I was doing with the singer before they went on tour.

"I think this song and some others on
"Some Echoes" are influenced as much by the old kinda
psychadelic folk music that's resurfacing these days
as it is from the prog rock and Krautrock we've been
into for years."

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

aloha has a new record out!!!!!!!!!!
best news ever.
i will go buy this, when i get my grubby hands on it.

Anchors (April 11, 2006)

Great record, but I feel like they'll never write a song as good as "Perry Como Gold" ever again.

That's the most beautiful, but haunting song I've ever heard, perfection.

danperrone (April 11, 2006)

NO!!!!!!!!!!

i am so disappointed with this album!!!!!

it sounds like terribly bad psychadelic pop music

awww jesse...we will always have bruce

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