I also could have done a story
on this Australian band, but after listening to their first 2, out of the
3 they cut, I thought it was only the release of their 3rd album ‘Race’
that should bother the AOR fans. In 1984 PSEUDO ECHO released the debut
album ‘Autumnal park’, which was followed one year later with the release
of ‘Love an adventure’.
Both releases are pretty worthless,
as they contain some poppy poprock with elements of new wave in a way bands
like Duran Duran and Platinum Blonde bothered us for years. I think there
aren’t that many AOR fans that would care about this kind of music. After
‘Love an adventure’ a lot of things happened to the band and it took more
than 4 years for the band to release a new album. And it was worth the
wait all the way, I can guarantee you!
In 1989, PSEUDO ECHO released
their third album titled ‘Race’. With the release of this album, things
became quite interesting for the AOR fan. ‘Race’ was filled with classic
80’s AOR that sounded quite Canadian. There are clear similarities to bands
like HONEYMOON SUITE, the first HAREM SCAREM, HAYWIRE, BYSTANDER and also
you may pick up some FM or STRANGEWAYS references.
Mentioning such big AOR bands,
this can only be a classic. And that’s what I would call this album: an
AOR classic that is pretty unknown among the AOR fans. I don’t know why
the band changed their music direction into this type of great AOR, but
I am glad they did. Maybe it is due to the fact that co-producers/mixers
like Bob Clearmountain, Brian Malouf and Paul Lani helped the band on ‘Race’.
3 well-known names in the AOR scene. Not one track is weak on ‘Race’.
The CD contains 10 great AOR
tracks, from the opener “Fooled again” till the closing track “Eye of the
storm”, you can hear all the ingredients and standards that an AOR fan
likes to hear in an AOR band. Almost every song has a brilliant hookline
too! What more do you need! PSEUDO ECHO featured the brothers James (on
keyboards) and Vince Leigh (on drums), Perre Gigliotti (on bass) and Brian
Canham (on lead vocals and guitars. They all wrote together their own songs,
and no outside writer helped them.
Basically, you get 7 uptempo
AOR rockers (“Fooled again”, “Over tomorrow”, “Imagination”, “Don’t you
forget”, “Runaways”, “Take on the world” and “Eye of the storm”), 1 short
instrumental (“Metropolis”) and 2 fantastic semi-AOR ballads (“Caught”
and “Searching for a glory”). Those 2 semi-AOR ballads “Caught” (similar
in style to early FM mixed with early STRANGEWAYS) and “Searching for a
glory” (a bit like ROXUS on their ‘Nightstreet’ album) are definitely the
best tracks and are classic AOR for sure.
The rockers are great too,
the best ones being “Eye of the storm” and “Over tomorrow” that can without
any doubts, easily be compared to HONEYMOON SUITE in their heydays! The
guitars, keys and backing vocals on the whole album sound just too perfect
and that’s where the sad story comes to an end. Because just when things
became interesting for the AOR fan, PSEUDO ECHO split and the incredible
album ‘Race’ never had a follow-up.
The members ended up in new
bands and sadly new music styles. Only in 1995 we were surprised by a new
release of PSEUDO ECHO, but unfortunately this was a ‘best of’ album, not
including any unreleased tracks. Still there are some unreleased tracks
left, that were recorded between their 1985 album and their ‘Race’ album,
if they sound like any of the ‘Race’ material, I don’t know, but they can
be interesting, I guess. Maybe someday this ‘lost album’ will eventually
What I do know is that there
were 3 singles released in Australia of the CD ‘Race”, namely “Fooled again”,
“Over tomorrow” and “Eye of the storm”/”Don’t you forget”. From these 3
CD-singles, only “Over tomorrow” is interesting to go out and look for,
because this CD-single contains 2 unreleased tracks titled “Wings” and
“Nothing to say”, I assume these are AOR orientated tracks.
Last words I can add to this
review are that every AOR fan must have this ‘Race’ album of PSEUDO ECHO
in their collection, if not, grab a copy today! The CD is easy to get,
although it didn’t get an official release in some countries.