Dead Leaf Echo - Truth
While swooning, swaying and rocking to the new Dead Leaf Echo, ignore the temptation to start name dropping. Since everyone and his brother mentions Shoegaze when talking about this band, I'll leave it at that and you can mentally think of your favorite early 90s UK bands. "Truth" stands on its own, however. The shimmering guitars, sustained chords and droning vocals certainly betray the band's pantheon of heroes, but the passion and delivery of these powerful soundscapes come from places found by the band on their own.
"Half-Truth" is a powerful, hypnotic lead-off, with lead singer/guitarist LG creating a heady swirl of biting lines. The trio has no drummer, with keys and bass the only other instruments. LG's guitar is often in the roll of percussion as well as lead instrument, and that is what gives many sections of these songs their emotional peaks. "Grey Town" and "Woolgathering" are two other standout tracks in that manner.
Acoustic guitar dominates several tunes, with "Act of Truth" and "Trial" featuring some of the best psych lines on acoustic to be heard in some time. Less successful is the somewhat lightweight "Dance in the Light," which could have used some more electricity and less ponderous singing. An extended mix of "Act of Truth" ends the record, but adds nothing to the original and seems rather self-indulgent.
Dead Leaf Echo have many a magical song in their collective heads, and some of them are shared on "Truth." While they sometimes fall ill of the temptation to take themselves too seriously, when they just exhale and deliver their visions without pretension, the results are pretty remarkable.
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