Wow. I mean--wow! No, I mean WOW!!!! Very rare is the album that OVERPOWERS my mind from the first second of track one. I haven't had my mind BLOWN in such an intense way in a LONG time. I mean, Echo is Your Love makes me happy that Blonde Redhead are now irrelevant, or that Sonic Youth's M.O. is to put money in the Renaldo and Moore Children College Savings funds. See, Sonic Youth are very much the old Echo is your Love, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! This Finnish group have harnessed the energies of both long-in-the-tooth bands, thrown in a little bit of Steve Albini's magic (I swear, they deserve an Albini session) and topped it off with a disturbing darkness that could and should smother creep-rock bands like Limp Bizkit and Staind in their sleep while they dream of stock options and their underage fans.
8 Hours starts off oh-so-quietly, with a "something doesn't feel safe" mood kicking in with "Turn it Off," but then things kick into MASSIVE overdrive when "Useless spells U-S-E-L-E-S-S" kicks in--and when the singer starts yelling "USELESS!" over and oiver and over and over and over over a growling growl of noise, you really do feel useless. They use this come-hither-and-die atmosphere throughout 8 Hours building it up and up and up and up and up and up until.....
(Well, I can't really tell you. In that little car accident that happened a few weeks ago, my copy of 8 Hours was lost. I debated whether or not to review 8 Hours now, or to simply wait until I bought another copy. Instead of prolonging it until I heard it again, I decided to tell you about it now, and simply go with what I'd written before the accident. I think what I've said in those first two paragraphs pretty much stands for the rest of the album. 8 Hours is indeed the rare record that sticks in your mind even after the first listen, and I simply had to tell you about it, because I wouldn't want to simply let you miss out on me telling you about what I consider to be one of the albums of the year. Excellent, essential, and utterly beautiful, and I'm totally selling Echo Is Your Love short in saying those things...)