The Ethers – Deluxe Edition (Album Review)
Los Angeles band “The Ethers” released their latest offering – simply titled “Deluxe Edition” to critical acclaim. Consisting of Audrey Moshier (Vocals), Pam Adams (Guitars), Joey Gonzalez (Bass) and Scott McPherson (Drums) plus the addition of sound effects and loops from Anthony Amato.
The Album begins with a stripped back and very tasty song in the form of “Selfishness” This tune has everything, a laid back trippy rhythm with some carefully placed instrumentation. The band use space to great effect here, not only does it allow room for some classic reverb on specific instruments (string sounds, and effects) but it also means the music can breathe, ebb and flow…. I particularly like the subtle use of freight train horn placed in the distance. For the chorus, Audrey’s distinct vocal is backed with acoustic and overdriven guitar. A great opening track which gives us just a hint of what might be in store. The second song “Cherokee style” is reminiscent of classic “Portishead” with flavours of “Lamb” and vocally “Jewel” – an amazingly atmospheric and trippy piece, again with carefully arranged instrumentation, which allows Audrey to take centre stage under the obligatory single spotlight. Her voice is thoroughly stretched here, and her passion is laid bare for all to hear. Incredible music. The connection between artist and listener is exquisite and this is exactly the kind of act that touches me on many different levels. “David Darling” is spookily Beth Gibbons and you could be forgiven for thinking that we were actually listening to the Bristol pioneers of UK Lo-fi…
By the fourth track we are convinced that The Ethers have their own style – sure its easy to detect some obvious influences, but the band have a distinctive sound and contemporary production style that borrows from several genres including rap, classic rock, grunge and groove. “Rubia” is beautifully noisy and deliberately crass and ‘in-yer-face’. Perfectly poised in the fourth position to break up the run of melancholic numbers. With “Greener Glow” we are returned to the atmospherics for an uncomfortably moody piece shimmering with superb lyrics and edgy vibe. With “Merlin” Audrey’s voice becomes Lou Rhode’s doppelganger – and here we are treated to another sonic masterpiece. Song after song, “The Ethers” deliver a programme of consistently brilliant and original music, never slacking off from beginning to end. By the time I reached the end of the disc I was smitten with Audrey’s voice and emotionally drained from the super-charged electricity that as a band, they just simply ooze!
I struggled to find anything negative to say about this album, indeed this band. Even the production work is top class. I could occasionally hear samples, which could maybe have benefited from being tidied up, however given that there is a lo-fi element to their sound, this could have been a conscious decision.
This is an outstanding collection of songs, chillingly atmospheric and definitely not for the faint hearted. If you’re looking for bubble-gum disposable pop, this wouldn’t be the band for you. If you like to connect with music on an emotive, or intellectual level, then the Ethers are definitely worth adding to your collection. As is usual, whenever I come across a top-rated act like this, I found myself looking online for more material as their vibe is thoroughly addictive and until I can get myself some more Ethers music – I will just have to make do with digging out some old ‘Portishead’ albums!
10 out of 10 Stars
This review was written By Neil Thomas (UK) for the Rock n Roll View