Showing posts with label echo bench. Show all posts
Showing posts with label echo bench. Show all posts

Saturday, September 14, 2013

video review: 'echo bench' by echo bench

Hmm, surprised how well this turned out. I talk about the newest Echo Bench album and address a few criticisms from previous videos. Outside of my reviews, I've been working to catch up on MGMT and am working on bringing together my opinion on LMNO's new album. 

Third wave of albums is coming up, so it's going to get crazy here in a few days.

album review: 'echo bench' by echo bench

I'd like to start this review with a necessary clarification that I really didn't was necessary until fairly recently, specifically in some of the comments that were posted on certain videos. This is not a response to these comments and I won't be naming any names, but I do feel I need to get something off my chest before I get into the meat of this review.

And here it is: one of the big reasons that my reviews are so long in comparison with others is that I want to ensure that people going through them are completely informed regarding my state of mind before I dive into what I like and dislike about music. I want all of my cards to be on the table in full view, and since I prize honesty, I want to make sure that you're aware of all of the factors that could influence my opinion, one way or another. 

Now this has led to a criticism I didn't really expect: the comment that since I went into said reviews with expectations, I was thus unfair to the artists in question. And there's a simple response to this: yes, I did go in with ideas and potentially even expectations regarding what said albums might entail - I'm a human being, and it would be intellectually and emotionally dishonest for me to curtail those expectations and not speak without a fully informed opinion that is uniquely my own. 

That being said, there is a marked difference between expectations and keeping an open mind, and this is where I feel the majority of said comments missed the point. Sure, I might have gone in with expectations, but I was open and willing to believe that I might be wrong in some capacity. I never go into reviews 'wanting to hate' something - if anything, I want to be proven wrong, I want the artist to step up and smash all of my preconceived opinions about their work. Is it the artist's job to prove themselves to me exclusively? Well, of course not, but it is the artist's job to make art that is compelling or is informed by some purpose, and it's my job as a critic to interpret that purpose and pass judgement on whether it works or not. And thus, when it comes to every act, be it country or hip-hop or metal or indie rock or even the shallowest of pop and EDM, I try to keep an open mind and try to understand their appeal. And while I might have creeping feelings of dread opening up some albums, I'm always willing to give them a fair shot, and i'm constantly seeking to improve my knowledge of acts so I can make my judgments fairly.

And yet, I'm going to get excited about some albums, and I'm going to dread reviewing others. I'm not going to stop having expectations, because said expectations inform my opinions and thus my reviews. And since I am an optimist, I will reaffirm my commitment to go into albums with hopes for the best. And so when I got a copy of the debut self-titled album from all-female post-punk trio Echo Bench and was informed they were reminiscent of acts like Savages (who I reviewed very highly earlier this year) and Joy Division, I was excited. I made sure to temper my excitement with some measured forethought - indie rock debuts are tricky things, and the high, high standard Savages set should definitely not be the same for every act in their vein - but I was excited and intrigued just the same. So, how does the Echo Bench album turn out?