23 Feb, Sunday
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Review: Anto And The Echoes – Youth

Anto And The Echoes are the latest band in a list of local talent to drop their debut EP on us recently, and with the help of ‘Caolan Austin’ down at ‘Smalltown America Studios’, the self-professed pop/rock group hailing from Fermanagh hope to hit the mark with their trio of tracks.

The first is ‘Pick Me Up’. This opening track instantly throws an energetic, positive vibe towards you, reminiscent of a 90s style long lost to the modern age of song writing. Far from the computerised sounds, the band keep it straight forward and to the point on this track with the keyboard providing a real uplifting backbone to the song. Catching up with the band, asking them some questions, Anto And The Echoes told me how “Pick Me Up was a song which had taken us along time to get right. Getting close to our first gig we felt it wasn’t ready and then about two or three practices before (the gig) we cracked it and now it’s one of our most loved songs and people always talk about it”. After having heard it on the EP, it’s easy to see why it’s such a favourite, as it is undoubtedly catchy and very easy to sing along with once the chorus hits.

Next up comes ‘Echoes’.  Right away this song feels more indie rock. Although more mellow, it creates a strange paradox of remaining quieter yet having a bigger sound, something that could really fill the room around you. This comes from the drum beat, it builds and builds and teases the possibility of a kick in before falling away on the edge, back down to mellow grounds again. Listening to this track reminded me very much of REM, the lead vocals provided a reluctantly positive feel to the song as the backing vocals created a slightly haunting feel in the back.

Finally came my favourite track of the EP – ‘Severed Ear’. I’m happy to inform you first of all that the band will be dropping a music video for this track soon – smart move as I believe the song is the real stand out on the EP. Feeling like a catchy pop rock song, again the bands ability to portray a feeling of positivity shone through. What must be said is the vocals on ‘Severed Ear’ are a real high point of the song, the tone of frontman Antos voice creates an addictive feel to the song, definitely one you could listen to a few times without getting bored. The song has a raw honesty to it, there’s no crazy guitar flicks or tricks, no fancy effects, just a straight forward tune made to get you moving.

The band told me themselves they “love the tracks and love playing them live because they always get the crowd moving”. They added how “overall we just hope people enjoy ‘Youth’ as much as we enjoyed recording it. We feel Caolan created the sounded we wanted and we couldn’t be happier”. Could this be the start of the rise of Anto And The Echoes?

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Apart from a few months living in Prague I've lived my whole life in Ireland. I've always been involved with the music scene from the moment I was given the opportunity. Joining the GiggingNI team was just the next step for me. A way in which I would be able to share with readers the great music that's surrounding us. We don't need to wait for the Arctic Monkeys or the Foo Fighters to come to us to experience a great gig, we can find it all on our own doorstep most weekends. But anyway, hope you enjoy my articles and get to see some great new bands from it, or at least have some great nights out.