It would be an understatement to say that Rocksposure has deep ties into the Milwaukee rock scene. It’s a town that we’ve scoured for Rock since the first day we wandered onto the web. However in all of our time busting out tunes from the Brew City, we have oddly never really run across their version of the Hard Rock genre. We always knew it was out there, but until now we were jamming to more of the pop and folk rock realms. The heavy, brooding sounds of Modern Echo changed all that.
Modern Echo packs an aggressive array of energy on all fronts on their debut album “Spirit in the Machine”. Lead singer Jonathan Schweiger delivers a clean vocal performance that ranges from soaring choruses on “Here We Stand” to the choppier tone of “Sleepwalker”. Providing the tempo needed to power “Spirit in the Machine”, Ted Butch locks down some fast beats in between crashing cavalcades of cymbals on the drums, while bassist Joe Alba thumps out a fast, heavy bassline to peak the urgency up on just about every track. Michael Joseph’s lead guitar work is a showcase in and of itself on just about every song as it’s constantly changing and running the full spectrum from one effect to another, precise doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Overall “Spirit In The Machine” is a very consistent album. It packs the band’s influences of A Perfect Circle, Trapt, and Breaking Benjamin in perfectly, and it does so with a level of finish that is hard to find from an unsigned artist. The smooth incorporation of some electronic assists like the intro on “Twentieth Lung” or the nice bass drop on “Sleepwalker” could easily have come off as gimmicky, but they are built and faded into the songs perfectly. These nuances are in every track and they take the finish of the album up a notch solely on how well they were added to the final mix of the tracks. They build a great flow within and between the songs, and it is a testament to just how well this album was produced.
If modern rock is your poison, there isn’t much you won’t immediately take to on “Spirit In The Machine”. “Light Your Eyes” is a radio ready guitar and drum assault that is laced with stocky riffs and a marathon of cymbals and double bass pedals. The track has a familiarity about it that shows the relevance of Modern Echo. Conversely “Vigil”, is an evolving track that features raging choruses, surprisingly light lows, and an insane solo by Michael Joseph. Equally dynamic is the building sound of “Distill” that is dominated by Alba’s bass from the first notes of the intro.
“Flatlined” is a full throttle rock song that gets pounded forward thanks to an intense effort by Butch on the drums and a stout guitar and bass effort from Joseph and Alba. In contrast, “Hold On” is a bit on the slow side compared to just about everything else on the album, but it is a shining track for both Schwieger and Ted Butch as it allows them to show off that they have another card to play besides the storming speed card.
The familiar nature of the music that encompasses “Spirit in the Machine” can only serve as an asset to Modern Echo as it will undoubtedly help them continue to build on their already strong Milwaukee based fan base. With music of this caliber, how could it not?
As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com.
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