I picked this lovely record up at the Auckland vinyl fair a couple of weeks ago. I’ve always been a big fan of Echo Beach – a staple of my DJ set back in the day – and figured I might as well check out the rest of the album. It wasn’t until I got home that I remembered that I have the 7” of Echo Beach, so this makes a nice little companion piece.
The record is a promo copy, with a shiny, gold embossed stamp in the bottom right hand corner proclaiming ‘Promotional Copy NOT FOR SALE’. Also on the cover is a big rectangular sticker, placed in the water of Toronto harbour on Peter Saville’s cover. The sticker is headlined ‘VIRGIN RECORDS, INC.’ and has a tracklisting with a checkbox next to each song to denote the ‘suggested cuts’. Presumably when mailed to radio stations, the record company would put a big fat tick next to Echo Beach.
I prefer this second blast of punk, now firmly classified as new wave. It seems a bit more musically minded, after the sneer of 1977’s summer of punk. The guitar line that opens Echo Beach in particular is fantastic – and equal to anything from more established bands. Unfortunately the rest of the album isn’t as strong, but great tracks like Indecision and Sinking Land show they’re far more than just a one-hit wonder.
Hit: Echo Beach
Hidden Gem: Indecision