Listen Up: Wednesday, June 06, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
EchoBrain

Chophouse Records (Surfdog Records)

By Paula Felps

Shedding, at least for the moment, his metalhead skin, Jason Newsted strikes some surprisingly fresh chords with the power trio EchoBrain. The Metallica bass player shows a much more melodic side with this project, and he manages to do so without sacrificing his signature rock swagger.

Rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Dylan Donkin and drummer Brian Sagrafena, EchoBrain serve up a lush, orchestrated version of alt-rock, creating a kind of grunge-goes-to-the-symphony sound. Donkin shows an impressive range of ability, both on his guitar and with his pipes. The music, in keeping with Donkinís far-reaching vocal prowess, explores quite a bit of ground, effortlessly switching from one sound to the next without sounding the least bit schizophrenic. The influences are myriad and notable; there are traces of everything from classic Led Zeppelin to Steppenwolf to the Beatles. Itís all concocted in a progressive, updated pop-rock mindset.

The album, which was recorded before EchoBrain had ever played a live show, benefits from some moody strings provided by principal members of the San Francisco and National symphonies. With their first tour under way, EchoBrain now will see if they can do on stage what they have managed to do so brilliantly on this debut: Create a sound that is comfortably familiar but gloriously new.


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