Album review by firstname.lastname@example.org
If you knew no better, you could listen to the opening bars of 'The Cut', the first track on this album, and easily be persuaded you were hearing the new Interpol single. That all changes when the vocal hits and for the most part Wonky Doll and the Echo wouldn't be quite so easily confused with the New York band, although it's clear they share influences and could easily fit into the same category. These guys are from Athens, Greece and their debut album 'Pleasant Thoughts' is a faithful but very good replication of the post-punk, new-wave and goth that was ruling the alternative world three decades ago.
The songs sound like original artifacts too: 'Treasure' could be a forgotten single from that time period; they've done little to update the sound, but if that's what they're aiming for then why should they? A handful of the bigger sounding tracks here could well have charted reasonably highly; the booming 'Physical' has all the grandeur necessary; 'Obsession' is Echo & The Bunnymen by way of The Cult; the lighter title-track takes in some retro electronica, and this continues with the kraut-influenced 'Something Is Wrong With You'. 'The Right Direction' is something of a shot in the arm, taking them back to the sounds that began the album before they experiment a little more again with 'When You Sleep'.
It's an incredibly strong set of tunes without a duff track to be found. The snappy 'From Town To Town' has the darkness of goth but the vitality to stop it becoming gloomy. Many bands are aiming for a similar target with their records at the moment, and many of them do a reasonable job. Wonky Doll and the Echo have done better than a reasonable job by that simple old trick of having a full set of good songs; an area where some groups fall flat. Granted this is a debut record and it's only nine tracks, but there's more enjoyment to be found here than on the last Interpol album. Now we wait and see if they can repeat the trick.
Wonky Doll and the Echo's website
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