Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Codeseven -- Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds
In the mid-90's, I enjoyed almost nothing more than staying up after midnight to watch Late Night with Conan O'Brien. For the infamous Christmas of 1993, I received a TV Tuner for my Sega Game Gear, the battery-sucking handheld, full-color video-game system. The TV Tuner turned the Game Gear into a 3-inch, rabbit-eared TV set, and almost just in time for Conan O'Brien's late night debut. As a lifelong insomniac, I immediately latched onto O'Brien's bizarre late night universe, and what a wonderful escape it was. I don't think anything like it has been seen on television before or since (Jimmy Fallon has admittedly made the program his own since he was handed the reins to the show in 2009, but it's a completely different show now). Conan, Andy Richter, Max Weinberg, and their crew created a self-contained world that made me feel at home. One of my favorite show segments was the deliriously disgusting "If They Mated," which showed photographs of the potential offspring of Hollywood power couples. The bit would start with simply mashing photos of the lovebirds together into a grotesque pastiche, then de-evolve into insanity.
The absolute best part of this video is the 4:30 mark, where Conan builds up a Val Kilmer/Nicole Kidman mash-up that ends in the most hilariously unfunny climax possible. Brilliant.
This intro was completely unnecessary outside of an excellent nostalgia break for me, and a really weak segue into...
What if the The Appleseed Cast's Low Level Owl mated with The Juliana Theory's Emotion Is Dead, and gave birth to a child who grew up to marry and mate with Dredg's El Cielo? Well, erase the what if, because that really happened, and that child's name is Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds, by a band called Codeseven. While Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds may not be quite as hot as its parents, especially the super-sexy Appleseed Cast, it ain't Brad Pitt and Gwenyth Paltrow's faces horrendously melted together, either. Even better, like most children, Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds has a personality all its own.
I could go off on the tangent of how I purchased this album on a faint 8-year old memory of a positive review from Decoy Music. I could talk about how listening to this album surprisingly set the pace for the solo road trip where it debuted upon my ears (neither as, nor less dirty than it sounds). Instead, I'll just talk about the album (finally).
Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds is one of those albums that just flows. Even when it gets repetitive in patches, the album moves on before you want to skip anything. The fact that it gets off to an extremely strong start definitely doesn't hurt. "All the Best Dreams" takes its sweet time building to its chorus, but when it does, it's unforgettable. Actually, the two-minute build makes the chorus all the better. It's an explosion of music and beautiful vocals, a rallying call, as if to say, "I am Awake."
Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds is one of those rare, early morning albums, and after its initial outburst, the album slides on dreamily. The rest of Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds never reaches the heights of it's first song, but that isn't such a bad thing. The grooves and spacey moments the band finds after this get the job done to the point that almost every time I finish a listen, I just want to start it over. The lyrics are semi-nonsensical gibberish, semi-this relationship ain't working out, classic "I'm kind of arty, but girls still like me" stuff. Nothing wrong with that in the right dose, and the French, flora, and fauna track titles just hit the sweet spot. So while this album might not quite be an all-time classic, it's still a go-to-anytime one for sure. If this band hadn't broken up, maybe they would have done something even better...wait, they're back together?!
2004 Equal Vision
1 La Mémoire Réincarnée 0:38
2 All the Best Dreams 3:58
3 Pathetic Justice 3:48
4 Nasty Little Revolution 4:53
5 Quails Dream 1:52
6 Roped and Tide 4:25
7 The Day That Doesn't End 4:54
8 Shalo 2:15
9 Alt Wav 3:41
10 The Devils Interval 4:20
11 Cherry Tree 1:15
12 Sunflower 5:12