Album review: Echobrain, Echobrain (2002)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 2002

By Steve Newton

You’ve gotta wonder why long-time Metallica bassist Jason Newsted threw in the towel with that enormously popular metal act last year. Perhaps it had something to do with his ex-bandmates’ intolerance of his side project with guitarist-vocalist Dylan Donkin and drummer Brian Sagrafena, who was only 16 years old when Newsted discovered him pounding away on a living-room drum kit at a neighbour’s 1995 Super Bowl party.

So how do the power-trio tunes of Echobrain stand up in comparison to the music of mighty Metallica? Well, judging solely by the opening song, “Colder World”, you’d think there might be another hard-rock supergroup in the making.

Unfortunately, nothing that follows the leadoff track is nearly as strong.

There are hooks and riffs aplenty, but they just don’t mesh with the same sharp-edged dynamism as Newsted’s former band, and his virtuoso bass chops are wasted. Maybe he should see if his old mates are willing to take him back. As far as I know, they haven’t hired a replacement yet.

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