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Echo Revolution
Counterfeit Sunshine
Open Arms Records
www.echorevolution.com


The first thing I noticed about Echo Revolution's new album Counterfeit Sunshine was its obvious U2 influence. Lead singer Lee Harding's vocals are easily recognized as Bono-esque. Even the drums and self-described "flavor guitar" are reminiscent of early 90's U2. Whereas Echo Revolution's music will appeal to anyone who loves this genre, those of us looking for something new are left wanting.

The first track off the four piece band's latest album, entitled "Open Your Eyes", sets the upbeat, straightforward rock tone, nothing very indie or hardcore or alternative about it. The title track "Counterfeit Sunshine" slows things down a bit with a melancholy keyboard-led change of pace. My favorite track is the ultra-funky "What Say You?" Replete with a catchy beat, a groovy bass line and bluesy keyboard, I found myself struggling to keep from tapping my foot. The next track, "Good To Be Home" makes for an sharp but interesting contrast. The upbeat, dancy song actually sounds a lot more like Vampire Weekend than U2. I also enjoyed the harder-rocking "Soul Work" that shows off tones of Echo Revoution's more punk influences.

Overall, Echo Revolution has a polished and professional sound. My problem with the album is that a band who tries too hard to sound like a different, more famous band struggles to grow artistically. Maybe I feel this more because it's hard to get away from the U2 impersonation after the first song sets it up so strongly.

Echo Revolution does have range, but the style sounds a bit dated, as if the album could have been released 10-15 years ago. They also sound like a band that probably shines a lot more during live performances, so I'd be interested what kind of difference live energy makes on their songs. Basically, if this is your style of music, Echo Revolution will be right up your alley. Personally, I'd like to see them find a more distinguished style but at least they have the potential.

-Kelsey Rodgers

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