Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Dead Leaf Echo-Faint Violet Whiff

December 1, 2006

deadleafechoBand Name: Dead Leaf Echo

Album Name: Faint Violet Whiff

Best Element: New wave catchiness

Genre: New Wave


Label Name: Year of The Gallon Records (No URL available)


Dead Leaf Echo’s Faint Violet Whiff is musically interesting, showcasing many music styles from the past two decades. This EP is well produced and solid instrumentally, but the vocals are just…not good. LG’s range is very limited, so some songs on this album are monotonous and aggravating.

With that said, “Shell of Love” is an excellent track. Think Parachutes-era Coldplay with more of an ‘80s vibe. Again, the vocals aren’t quite first-rate, but they are less jarring here than on some of the other tracks. In fact, the plaintive, atonal wailing that characterizes LG’s vocals throughout this CD works very well here.

“Poison Lips” left me tapping my foot. LG proves his worth here, giving stellar performances on both bass and keyboard. However, what would be new wave at it’s finest is marred on occasion by a spotty vocal performance. I’ll say this in defense of LG’s vocals: when they’re good they’re really good. In spots, he does quite well; if you’ll permit me another Coldplay comparison, there are echoes of Chris Martin to be found on this track.

“Walking Away” is ‘80’s rock at its most fun. In spite of the vocals—I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but yeesh—this song is an entertaining listen if a bit frenetic at times. Alligator Joe shines on drums.

As far as I’m concerned, the vocals do need serious work, but this release is, as I said before, instrumentally solid and well produced. If you think you can deal with the vocals, buy the whole CD. If not, pick up “Shell of Love”—you will be glad you did. Either way, keep an ear open for Dead Leaf Echo; they are still growing as a band.

-Brian Burns

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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