After the release of debut EP Gone Is Gone (2016), a full length was on the cards, anticipated by fans who didn’t have to wait too long thankfully with Echolocation set to hit stores early January. For those that are unfamiliar with the supergroup of sorts, Gone Is Gone is made up of talented musicians that include the distinct voice of bassist Troy Sanders of Mastodon fame, Queens of The Stone Age guitarist, Troy Van Leeuwen and At The Drive In drummer, Tony Hajjar. The brainchild behind the A-Team is multi-instrumentalist/composer Mike Zarin who founded the outfit with Hajjar. Six solid tracks, not including two interludes, were a most welcome introduction to the band but would they be able to carry on the success with a full-length or would it suck eggs?
We have twelve ‘new’ tracks here, with no repeats from the EP, something many bands tend to do when it is only a short time between the release of a follow-up. Sanders sets the scene giving a Burton C. Bell feel with his calming vocal delivery. That thick guitar fuzz of Van Leeuwen echoes like thunder over the peak of a mountain as Hajjar beckons the call with a steady drum technique. The catchiness Gone Is Gone is better known for shines through like a light in the darkest of tunnels on the first of many highlights in the grooving track, Gift. Sanders‘ voice is as catchy as a cold in Antartica without the required dress attire, and the distinct guitar work of Van Leeuwen is enough to make any QOTSA fan drool with excitement. The frolic bass of Sanders keeps perfect time with the fast paced drills of Hajjar leading his A-Team to definite glory.
The bass grooves of Sanders stands out on Resurge never short of a catchy chorus. Slow burner Dublin makes way for the sludgy Ornament with pummeling bass and guitar riffs that bounce off each other like kids high on cordial on a jumping castle. A personal favourite, Pawns, grooves to no end in sight thanks to the chugging riff of Van Leeuwen and galloping bass of Sanders. The nifty guitar leads on this track are most welcome. Hajjar perfects his craft with his stellar drum technique soaring like an eagle gliding through blue skies.
Other highlights include Slow Awakening with its unusual music stylings even turning into a reggae-infused jam at one stage, followed by Fast Awakening in all its sped up glory with Hajjar taking up the pace and some nifty guitar solos in the mix from Van Leeuwen. Closing off with title-track, Echolocation, sure to get the toes-a-tapping and head bouncing with this well-written opus. The ringing guitars mark a sign of greatness, letting loose with a powerful solo. Gone Is Gone go out with a bang and all is not gone as the band show they are here to stay. A great sound is achieved with the album co-produced by Ken Andrews (Beck, A Perfect Circle) along with the band. Overall a worthy debut, most likely to succeed rather than suck eggs. No poultry has been harmed during this review, and no eggs will be sucked.