Echoes of Silence is an Italian New-Wave/Dark band (strong are the similarities with Joy Division) and they’re well known and appreciated here in Italy. It’s the third time they come to Naples, but I missed the previous ones. Now finally I can see them at Sudterranea Club, a small venue where every Saturday the dark-gothic scene gathers, and it’s with a great interest that I expect their performance. When they start with the first song, only few people are in the concert room, but soon the place is crowded, and people will stay until the end of their exhibition, listening, moving and dancing.
In my opinion, based on this concert, they’re surely overestimated. Songs are nice, but nothing particular or moving, I remember not a song or riff that entered my brain or a particular moment when I’ve thought "this is an interesting passage". What I remember is a harsh guitar sound playing isolated notes that didn’t fuse in riffs but, due to the lack of an even little reverb, remain isolated one from the other. I remember, too, a bass that each time uses distortion covers everything else, like a bulldozer covers with sand voice, guitar and drums, and many, too many times disagrees with guitar about the time of the song, playing in synchrony once every ten measures. Drums... sincerely I didn’t hear drums, drummer was there but none heard it: seems to me that played without the energy that post-punk band needs. The concert ends with a cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay so muddled that even the band was laughing while playing...
I know, many could think that the quality in the exhibition is not the first thing to consider in a post-punk band, and you’ve to appreciate the attitude, the atmosphere, the energy the band gives. But I think that what was good in 1979 (like some Joy Division exhibitions, great for the emotions they give but musically speaking not so good) today isn’t appreciable anymore. You can be aggressive, sick, moving, desperate, even with a little (very little, I’m not asking for Malmsteen-clones) care for the way you play. Or you have to be so intense and involving and aggressive that anyone in the room will dance and shake, trapped in a whirlwind of emotions, like happened with the band FRANKENSTEIN, where none was still and we were too busy jumping to notice if they made mistakes on instruments.
I don’t want to believe this has been a standard ECHOES OF SILENCE concert, I firmly want to believe that this night has been a bad night, that they’ve heard nothing on stage and so was impossible to play well (a common problem in small venue concerts) and transmit their emotions to the audience.
I know they’ll play on 7th Feb 2007 in Rome, supporting CINEMA STRANGE, and I’m sure that they’ll do their best to show their qualities and receive the attention they deserve.