Obscured by Echoes
Avidonia II: The Arrival
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., June 9, 2017
Derailed in order to relocate its studio, local psych quintet Obscured by Echoes picks up its sci-fi tale where it left off on 2015's Avidonia Pt. 1: The Escape. The narrative resumes on Avidonia II: The Arrival, but the band's sound has evolved in the layoff. The trunk of the Austin fivesome's tree has become the root, its original Paisley Underground aesthetic buried in the soil. Aboveground, ObE employs prog rock melodies slowed down and stripped of classical pretension, enhanced with a spacey atmosphere that evokes a starship becalmed in an asteroid belt. The burbling synthesizers of Alyson Beaujon and Johnny Flores frost the tunes with florid soundscapes and earworm hooks, letting guitarist Kyle Abrams concentrate on inserting the perfect lick rather than providing sonic muscle. As flamboyant as a glam rocker and as enigmatic as a shaman, Flores' singing becomes the axis of cosmic drifters "The Coast of Sarasille" and "The Great Inoculation." A catchy, rocking gateway drug, "The Mother of Morning" brings the mystery of this bewitching journey into focus.