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Review – Dead Leaf Echo – Truth (2&1 Records)

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Here’s another proof that  shoegaze spirit is here to stay…

While most of the original bands associated with the movement (Ride, Slowdive) may never come back, there’s a growing list of those who are ready to follow the same route that led My Bloody Valentine to  “Loveless” and Slowdive to “Pygmalion”.

DLE is one of those bands.

Since their formation, those New Yorkers released a couple of EPs and worked with the likes of Ulrich Schnauss and John Fryer ( Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil). Knowing the type of music that both Fryer and Schnauss are associated with, it should come as no surprise that “Truth” sounds much like the result of an extensive study of back catalogs of labels like 4AD and Creation.

“Half-Truth” – the hypnotic opener on that EP – is easily the best track on the whole record. Its a gorgeous song that combines machine-gun drumming, dreamy vocals and ambience . Next few tracks (“Dance In The Light” and “The Act Of Truth”) are not as hard-hitting, but still good – the band simply reuse the same template (ambience/feedback/layered guitar sounds/dreamy vocals) to a good effect.

Problems start when the band attempts to sound more gentle (and play slower) – “Grey Town” brings tempo down a bit and “Woolgathering” almost brings it anything to a complete stop. None of the two songs sound particularly interesting and it feels like the band unsuccessfully trades in slight melancholy/mystery of the first part of EP for an unconvincing demonstration of despair with those two tracks.

“Trial” brings things back to normal as it sounds much like some of the earlier tracks. The closer on this EP is a pleasant, but non-essential remix of “Half-Truth”.

Its unlikely that “Truth” will kickstart a revolution of any kind, but for what it is its very well done. There are few stinkers in the bunch, but they don’t seem to take away from the fact that there’s also many good songs (and one real keeper in the form “Half-Truth”).  So “Truth” could be a good choice for those seeking for a trip back to golden indie era of the late 80s/early 90s.


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