Be Water

Host Echo

Independent Release, 2005

http://hostecho.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/29/2005

Host Echo hails from New York and has a distinctly electronic sound. I can already prognosticate what's going on in your goofy minds right now; but please, give me a chance to prove you wrong. Yes, Host Echo does come from New York and sounds electronic… but, it does not sound New Wave. Did I disappoint you? Let me disappoint you further by saying that it does not sound British at all, and sadly the lead singer has perfectly American vocals, and has a perfectly American accent to his singing.

Though predominantly electronic, Host Echo is not a part of the latest British invasion, which (thankfully) is plaguing the American alternative music scene. The act's debut my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Be Water is sort of a cross between ska, rock and smooth-jazz (or at least the music played on "smooth-jazz" radio stations). The music at times has a retro feel (I am referring to the sixties, not the eighties, you dimwit), and is also oftentimes trippy (with lots of nicely packed "record scratching").

So how does one classify Be Water? If you ask me this question, my answer would be - as best described on a famous song by Public Image Ltd. -- "Don't ask me, 'cause I don't know." Be Water is a delightful mishmash of all the above music styles. If it has to be compared, Host Echo comes quite close to Pulp, or maybe even a little bit to Portishead.

The bass n' drum section of the music on Be Water has a marked "ska" influence, or rather ska in really really slow motion. Most numbers on the record are much like older Dave Matthews: long songs, with weird twists to the music. The songs are laid-back, and this is where the "smooth jazz" analogy kicks in. The electronics, the keyboards and singer Nick Spacone's crooning and cooing throughout the album primarily create a soothing aura to the music, much like the music on "smooth jazz" radio stations. But at the end of the day, the music is pure-bred rock; it just has a "smooth jazz" swing to it.

"Hypnogogic," with its sunny Californian mood; "While Rising," with its catchy piano-hook, "Eyes" and "Mind Is A Forest," for their sheer "chill" factor, are the album's standouts.

The latest British invasion has indeed resulted in a number of talented young acts coming out of the American alternative music scene, which is encouraging to rock music itself, after the thunderous fall of grunge in the late nineties. What is even more encouraging is the emergence of acts like Host Echo, who only add diversity to the nice mix of the new breed of Brit-influenced intelligent rock bands of today.

[For more information on Host Echo, visit their website at www.hostechomusic.com]

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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