CD REVIEW: The Ethers - Deluxe Edition (2011)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"X-Factor is off the charts"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Artist: The Ethers
CD: Deluxe Edition
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Cowboy Junkies, Portishead, Garbage, New Order, No Doubt
Technical Grade: 8/10
Weakness: Winded Songs, Mixing Disparity.
After a 10 year hiatus Los Angeles 3 piece The Ethers just released their latest CD entitled Deluxe Edition in 2011. Band members are: Audrey Moshier (vocals) Pam Adams (Guitars) Joey Gonzalez (Bass), Scott McPherson (Drums) and Anthony Amato (Loops/Snips) This music combines a fascinating blend of "Retronica” with a vivid array of colorful melodies, beats and soundscapes.
The CD kicks things off with “Selfishness” an intro piece that sets the stage rather appropriately for this psychadelic catalogue of music. This first piece id quite infectious with its pulsating rhythms meshed against catchy vocals and a grand mosaic of exotic soundscapes. Track 2 entitled “Cherokee” serves up a steady rhythm section vibe against pulsating melody and vocal layering that can be described as captivating and mesmerizing from Mosier. Track 3 “David, Darling” flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition with pulsating rhythm and heartfelt vocals again from Moshier. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of Alternative rock meshed with elements of electronica and dub out/ chill type musical textures. The music is extremely melodic but definitely brings to the table a lot of musical variety and a degree of unpredictability. Musical parallels for me are Portishead, Cowboy Junkies, Garbage, New Order and even No Doubt. The Ethers brings to the table a wide range of instrumentation. You will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere - from impressive guitar ambience, driving electronic beats and rhythms, to exotic soundscapes, keyboard and synthesizer accents and well placed vocal harmonies. The vocal abilities from Moshier fill the sonic space quite well and mesh well with this catalogue of music. She displays an impressive falsetto and vibrato to boot with a vocal mystique that reminds me a lot of Madonna and her X-Factor is off the charts. The sonic overdubbing is packed to the hilt and is chopped full of exotic soundscapes that lunge at you from every direction. There's not a dull moment on the entire production. The melodic layering is deep, the sonic ambience is infectious and the music is from another galaxy. From mesmerizing “Rubia” and “Swing” to striking “Greener Glow” and “Another Day” to mesmerizing “Merlin” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Underground (Bonus) the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Song for song it’s fair to say there is a bit of mixing disparity going on. Some songs sound amazing with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. Others don’t sound as good - clear as mud. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Catalogue is a bit winded overall. there comes a point in the time where the album has ran it's course.
From start to finish Deluxe Edition by “The Ethers” is a solid production. It’s extremely consistent, original and very melodic. It’s strength – it’s amazing songwriting, originality and rich sonic layering. Make no bones about it these are 5 talented composers and performers. When the ride is over you will be dazzled by its originality, overwhelmed by its mystery and mesmerized by it’s amazing diversity.