Echo Lad | via

Fresh off the presses of Bandcamp, newcomers Echo Lad dropped their self-titled debut full-length at the end of last month. If you’ve been missing emo’s twinklier side (think earlier Tiny Moving Parts or CSTVT), you’re more than ready for this effort’s manic yet masterful instrumental work.

The 10-track release splits its listing right down the middle, allocating half to straight instrumentals. It’s an odd approach to a lyrically-heavy genre but actually results in some of the best “twinkle daddy” (yes, this is a real term) tunes outside the midwest. Vocal-less tracks like “Professional Wrestling” and “Goron” push the crunchy bass and fast-moving tempo, anxiously jumping around beats to keep you alert and listening. This becomes the core of Echo Lad’s sound, complemented by Charlie Dubuc’s quintessentially somber registry (Mom Jeans fans will rejoice).

Interestingly enough, the collective really likes to play around within, experimenting with some Latin infusion (“Neon Tetra”) and even at times getting to Crying-like indie stadium levels (“There’s Gold In Them Hills”), all fun attachments to an already expert-level sound. Also noted are the crazy amount of girl/boy vocal combinations throughout, adding an extra splash of vulnerability to the already personal sound. I can really see how much fun these kids had making this record and the many, many album credits prove that. And while it’s getting increasingly hard to find people adding something new to “emo”, it’s projects like this that get me excited about the future of the genre. Have fun inevitably push-pitting to these kids at JJ’s Diner soon.