Fans of fried and grungy acid rock will surely have their minds blown once they hear the first ever cassette edition of the mighty Il Mondo, by Echo Upstairs, on Gezellig Records.
The São Paulo, Brazil based group bridges the worlds of hard shoegaze, garage rock and dream pop together seamlessly. An air of nonchalance hangs thickly in the group’s hybrid sound…that is when vocalist, guitarist and synth player, Ana Zumpano, isn’t wailing siren-like through the band’s amplified haze!
The band also features Bigu Medina on bass, vocals and electronics, Mauro Terra on drums, Beeau Gomez on synths, electronics and guitars and Gilbert Spaceh on second guitar. Together, they produce a sound that is both dreamlike and heavier than death.
The EP, which was originally released in their native country back in July, opens with the feverish title track, which revs up and tears off at full speed like a twisted-up Harley. With a charging rhythm and whipping neon guitar solos, this track immediately sets a fierce tone for the rest of the record.
This cut is followed by “All The Stars,” which cools things down, but still features pummeling riffs and crashing waves of fuzzy distortion. There’s a strong 90’s influence here, with echoes of past shoegazers, like Drop Nineteens and Slowdive, as well as other alt-rockers of the era, such as Sebadoh.
Then the band leans further into their more psychedelic side on the hypnotic “In/out.” Baying guitars and breezy vocals swirl around a cruising, cyclical beat, in a meditatively motorik style.
The EP finishes with the incendiary “Beloved.” The song’s verses find the group drifting through ethereal clouds of glazed guitars and icy vocals, which then only escalate into absolutely volcanic choruses that erupt with cataclysmic intensity. The band roars behind Zumpano’s gale force battle cries, shaking the listener into total submission. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand while playing this one.
Il Mondo proves just how much of a force of nature Echo Upstairs can be.
-- Keith Hadad, Record Crates United
released October 17, 2023
echo upstairs is
ana zumpano - guitars, vocals, and synthesizers
bigu media - bass, vocals, and electronics
mauro terra - drums
gilbert spaceh - guitar
beeau gomez - guitar, synthesizers, and electronics
amanda buttler - vocals on "Il Mondo" and "Beloved"
joão lucas ribeiro - vocals on "Beloved"
produced by: ana zumpano and beeau gomez
composed by: echo upstairs
written by: echo upstairs
mixed by: beeau gomez
mastered by: joão casaes
btg studio by gabi lima
estúdio borracharia by joaquim pedro
estúdio memória by beeau gomez