When a band, either cryptically or literally, name themselves after a seminal album or artist from music heritage, they’re consciously announcing, or showing-off, their allusions to a piece of art that’s already stood the test of time. You’re not even expected to share any of the philosophy of that borrowed title, or even sound remotely in touch with it. Look at The Mooney Suzuki, who took the surnames of Can‘s quasi-front-men (Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki) yet failed to adhere to the experimental, and, innovative spirit of these icons. Yeti Lane also fall short of their own chosen spheres of influence.
‘Yeti’, the otherworldly acid-rock tome by Krautrock magi legends Amon Duul II, and ‘Lane’ as in Pennylane, by the exulted Beatles, form a surprising flag-barer partnership for our Parisian 3-piece to adopt. Neither as adventurous and seraph-bound space-rocking as Amon Duul, or as majestically melodic and enterprising as The Beatles, Yeti Lane’s moniker seems somewhat fatuous. Promising as it sounded – and believe me, I’m the biggest AD II groupie there is – there’s just no way they can deliver; which isn’t to say they don’t try, as The Echo Show has its fair share of ambitious-lifting cosmic moments to enjoy.
If one track can display the band’s full gamut and panoptic sound then it’s the motork minor-opus ‘Analog Wheel’, that oscillates between redolent flashes of Cluster, Air and the Silver Apples – imagine a bubbly trip through the Krautrock back catalog and acid-pastoral late 60s, via a modern-day stylized French avant-pop group. Whistling Theremin, speed-shifting sparkly effects, fruit-machine bleeps and celestial alluded synth-lines interweaves with the main thrust of fuzz-fueled driving guitars, drum and roving bass. Smoothly shifting from the jangly-led fantasy of Love-meets-Hawkwind dreamy ‘Alba’, to the skulking psych-rock of ‘Faded Spectrum’, set a course for orbiting the planet Kosmiche; further sonically experimenting within the confines of the Morse code moniker instrumental vignettes, peppered throughout the album.
Perhaps a little tame for my tastes, The Echo Show lilts and placably flows over a twinkly trans-European-interstellar soundtrack; threatening to, but never quite tipping over into inspired displays of soaring excellence. Still, for those who took a shine to either The Soundcarriers, Goose or early Soulwax records, Yeti Lane will prove a reasonable proposition.
Due – 03/03/2012