BK 67368 On
Produced by Sean Slade & Paul Koderie
Released on September 1995
UK CHART POSITION #4
Find it at GEMM
BK 63768 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T o call Echobelly an amalgam of The Smiths and The Cranberries may place them in the indistinguishable middle of a crowded pack, but the quality of On clearly distances them from that pack. Honestly, The Smiths had trouble making albums this good (as did Morrissey) and I’ve never heard anything from The Cranberries as catchy as “King of the Kerb” or “Nobody Like You.” There are those who would have you believe that Britpop is rife with minor glories like these, imitation minus the invention, but I’ve gone looking for too many secondhand Smiths (Cardigans, Oasis, etc.) to fall for that. Echobelly rocks hard, always has a pleasant melody up their sleeve, can drift into the deep end and swim back again, all the while contending with the enormous charisma of singer Sonya Madan. That the band wins the battle speaks to their talent; consider how many bands fronted by women have fallen by the wayside to solo careers. Madan’s lyrics are feminine yet sexual, rarely coy but rather confident and honest. Given that Madan could have played the “coy” card to fine effect, kudos for keeping that one in the deck. It helps On gain broader appeal, reaching out to rockers as well as shoe-gazing pop types. Listening to “Dark Therapy” for example, it’s easy to imagine that Radiohead could channel some of the same distortion or that No Doubt could take a playful turn like “Go Away.” Although occasionally guilty of resting too long at Morrissey’s altar (“Worms And Angels,” “Something Hot In A Cold Country”), Echobelly is hardly a tribute band. Rather, they’ve taken the best part of that band (the melodies and mixed euphoria) and given it a sharper edge. Anglophiles would do well to own On, as it ranks with the best of the ‘90s Britpop movement. No, it doesn’t have a darn thing to do with prog, but not everything has to.

BK 67368 inner sleeve BK 67368 back sleeve
BK 67368 inner sleeve BK 67368 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. CAR FICTION
  2. KING OF THE KERB
  3. GREAT THINGS
  4. NATURAL ANIMAL
  5. GO AWAY
  6. PANTYHOSE AND ROSES
  7. SOMETHING HOT IN A COLD COUNTRY
  8. FOUR LETTER WORD
  9. NOBODY LIKE YOU
  10. IN THE YEAR
  11. DARK THERAPY
  12. WORMS AND ANGELS

    Free 7-inch single
  13. HERE COMES THE SCENE
  14. ON TURN ON
  15. GOD'S GUEST LIST

    Tracks 1-12 written by Sonya Aurora Madan/Glenn Johansson

CREDITS

ANDY HENDERSON -- drums
GLENN JOHANSSON -- guitars
ALEX KEYSER -- bass
SONYA AURORA MADAN -- voice
DEBBIE SMITH -- guitar
B.J. Cole -- pedal and lap steel guitars
Sean Slade & Paul Kolderie -- engineers
Kevin Westenberg -- front cover photography, additional photography
Ray Burmiston, Ed Sirrs, Chaz & Robin -- additional photography
Stylorouge -- design

return to ECHOBELLY discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 1995 Fauve/Rhythm King LPX FAUV 6LX w. bonus 7-inch
UK September 1995 Fauve/Rhythm King CD/CS FAUV 6CD/C picture sleeve
US 1995 550 Music/Epic CD BK 67368 picture sleeve

 

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