Friday, November 2, 2012

Flashback Friday: Defend Your Joy

"Aggressive Smile Pop" is how founder Joey Belvile described his sound. The band was founded in 1992 in the music mecca known as Albuquerque, NM. Don't laugh. Evanescence (Little Rock, AR), Fireflight (Orlando, FL), Switchfoot (San Diego, CA), and Third Day (Atlanta, GA) are all headlining bands which have their origins in less than Music City USA. Belville credits being discovered by Wally Shaw of deitiphobia, and has become part of the industrial triumvirate of Deitiphobia-Aleixa-Echoing Green.

Other than Belville and the joyful sound, one of the biggest halmarks of the Echoing Green "sound" is awesome, and at times haunting, female vocals. For the first five years of the bands existence that part was in constant flux, as six ladies: Riki Michele, Carrie Connelly, Rachael Hadley, Sherri Youngward, Robyn Standridge, and Jennifer Ancog. In 1998 they finally got things sorted out and Chrissy Jeter (nee Franklin) took over as female vocalist, and has been in charge for the last five albums.

Of course it should be no surprise. The Echoing Green has always been a band in motion. Joey has been the only constant (as well as Chrissy since 1998). Two Drummers, Five Keyboardists and three guitarists have also gone through the revolving doors of this band. Despite the changes, they did manage to put out six studio albums and one live album during act one.
I am proud to say that of the seven albums in this list I have six of them in my possession (I only lack Music From the Ocean Picture). The last of these albums marked TEG's entry into Darkwave music (think Voxis), though it still is the cheeriest darkwave you can imagine.

After The Winter of Our Discontent was released, The Echoing Green disappeared, though they never officially broke up. Belville produced other groups, among them Leiahdorous , Argyle Street , Pristina, and Vertigo Venus, and Jeter raised a family. Then, without notifying The Night Beat first, they come out with In Scarlet and Vile (2011). It's a bit darker than TWOOD, but you can't take the joy out of these guys. I just checked out the last two bands and I won't be recommending either Pristina or Vertigo Venus on language. I guess you get producing jobs where you can. I am going to share a youtube audio for Away from the latest album.

That's it for this edition of Flashback Friday. We complete another rotation next Friday when we will be talking about DC Talk. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.