Echolyn: I Heard You Listening

Forward-looking ninth from Brett Kull’s collective.

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There are dozens of bands who are delighted merely to try to recreate the works of the classic 70s progressive pioneers, and there’s always something faintly depressing about that approach.

Although Echolyn’s earlier releases contained smatterings of Yes, Gentle Giant and The Beatles, the Pennsylvania band’s recent albums have deliberately and encouragingly added contemporary flourishes. It’s a trend that has been continued with aplomb on this, their ninth full-length studio recording, and although Brett Kull and band haven’t discarded those influences, this is still a fresh and varied album. Once I Get Mine moves through several diverse sections that showcase the numerous facets of their sound, while Warjazz is an inventive and captivating foray into heavy jazz fusion. Closer Vanishing Sun owes more to their earlier recordings, but despite that backward glance, the keyboard passages and uplifting finale counteract any reliance on past triumphs. They still occasionally lack the finesse to elevate them above their contemporaries, and not all the vocals will enthral everyone, but I Hear You Listening proves that they aren’t devoid of creative sparkle just yet.