No Matching Hairstyles Necessary
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newstead’s new project, Echobrain, is nothing to thrash your mullet to. Newfound guitar prodigy Dylan Donkin’s vocals sound interestingly like Thom Yorke and Ozzy’s lovechild, if that were possible. With another newcomer, Brian Sagrafena on drums, Newstead nurtures a mellow rock/pop/alternative/folk/blues blend that accepts anything non-metallic.
The mixed breed CD opens with “Colder World” and “The Feeling is Over” to start Echobrain with a dull roar — these alt-rock songs are nothing we haven’t already heard while drinking at a local bar. Their hybrid album freshens up with “Adrift” and peaks with the moving, early Radiohead-esque tracks “Ghost” and “SuckerPunch.” They take a sudden turn into classic-rock and blues country (and back to the bar) with “Highway 44” and remain through the eclectic summation “Cryin’ Shame.”
Despite the wealth of new and veteran talent, Echobrain’s buffet-style sampling of genres becomes mushy on many tracks. Perhaps Newstead wishes to introduce his protege vocalist and drummer as serious artists with great potential. Combined with the bassist’s own maturing sound, the result is very safe — almost too clean, too tame. The rock community should hope to hear a more defined sound from the talented rockers in their second album.