8 Dec 2022
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Ekko Park - EP Review: UnMute

25 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

There are times when it is just impossible to write a review as I am having so much fun playing the music that I find myself hitting the desk in time with the drums, bopping to the beat and fully in the groove. Then the damn thing is finished, and I have to put it on again (not really an issue) and the debacle repeats! I am not sure how many times I have played this back-to-back but if I don’t get this written then I am going to be sat here for the rest of the night, so I need to be disciplined about this. Four tracks with a total playing time of less than 12 minutes, this is pop punk melodic hard rock with attitude and balls designed to get people moving.

When I saw them recently, I commented at just how hard Nick Douch hits the kit and how important his fills are, and that is the same on the recording, while Bryan Bell locks in and keeps the melody going in a far more aggressive and tuneful manner than many bassists, which then allows the guitarists to either tie in tight or go off at tangents. Newest recruit, guitarist Jessie Booth, sounds like she has been in this band forever and then at the centre of the maelstrom is Joe Walsh providing vocals and guitar, letting Jessie take lead when the time is right, and continually driving forward.

These four songs are perfect examples of why we all love this band so much, and why their gigs are always guaranteed to be a good time. They open with Breakdown, which just stretches over the two-minute mark, and when they played this recently it was the song immediately prior to their brutal cover of Pretty Vacant, and while this is more melodic it definitely fits in with the punk dynamic. Yet as well as punk they provide us with songs which combine that energy with arena-style anthems which take influences from Simple Minds and U2 with jangly guitars which have plenty of breadth and dynamics as well as hitting hard. All the songs here are packed full of hooks and it is impossible not to play these gently without moving, as they demand to be played loud and proud and for the listener to move! Although I only saw them play a few weeks ago I am already anxious to see them play again with a longer set.

One can only hope that in the not too distant future we are going to get another full album from these guys combined with a nationwide tour, as music as great as this deserves to be played in its natural environment, at gigs. There is no excuse whatsoever for not getting on board with Ekko Park as they are more relevant and powerful than ever, and this EP is massive. Somehow, I think this might be my #1 for the year…

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Ekko Park

Ekko Park released their highly anticipated, independently released second album Know Hope in October 2015, going straight in to the Official NZ Album Chart at #13 and was the #5 Kiwi album.

2017 saw the release of the single Going Uptown which continued the bands rise and success in Europe, culminating in Ekko Park's first ever European Tour across Italy with a stop in Ireland.

2018 starts in earnest as the band welcomes new guitarist Alex Hargreaves to the team.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ekko Park

Releases

UnMute
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Horizon
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Know Hope
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Tomorrow Tomorrow Today
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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