Eksi Ekso to release Brown Shark Red Lion
Boston's Eksi Ekso will release their second LP Brown Shark, Red Lion on March 15, 2011 via The Mylene Sheath (label home to Giants, Caspian, and more.) They will be touring out west to SXSW this March is support of the new record. Paired with a 28 page book of artwork, the album tells the story of a photographer and amateur astronomer who disappeared mysteriously in Eastern Turkey in the late 1800's.
"Addition by subtraction" is a cliché often quoted by the unoriginal (as well as the mathematically-impaired) that nonetheless offers a fair assessment of Eksi Ekso-- a band that has gone from six to three full-time members and still somehow expanded its sound by refining it.
Artist: Eksi Ekso
Title: Brown Shark Red Lion
Release date: 03/15/11
Label: The Mylene Sheath
Buy at: Amazon
When writing began for the follow-up to 2008's I Am Your Bastard Wings, the three current members of Eksi Ekso: Tom Korkidis (vocals, guitar, bass, keys), Alex Mihm (drums, loops, percussion), and Sean Will (keys, synths, trumpet, samples), found themselves increasingly constrained by the inertia of a large band seemingly doomed to stay within its post-rock tendencies. As the three spent more time working together, it became clear they had a very real momentum with myriad ideas that would never survive the democratic process of a six-piece group. If it sounded good, it stayed, with any concerns of conforming to some pre-existing musical identity being summarily dismissed. Eventually, the split was obvious and the other members left amicably, with one (Beth Holub, viola) remaining in a collaborative role.
The band's newest record, 2011's Brown Shark, Red Lion, shows a band comfortable exploring areas of orchestral pop (with a nine-piece chamber orchestra), synth-soaked dance, and hard-hitting rock in ways that can appeal to the crowd who just want a catchy vocal line as well as the kids who go to the front of the stage to see what's in a band's pedal boards. The vocals are memorable and well-arranged, the melodic instruments make hooks out of refreshingly atypical chords and melodies, the rhythm section pummels with a deft blend of creativity and back-beat. Strings and brass are not haphazard novelties that show up when the band runs out of ideas; they propel the song when need be or billow beneath the din when subtlety is best.
Brown Shark, Red Lion is a story that manifested itself out of a conversation Korkidis had with his late grandmother about the disappearance of two family acquaintances - one in the late 1800's, and one later in the mid 1900's. With little more than that, the idea was to create a story around a protagonist who truly was a commercial photographer and amateur astronomer that existed in Eastern Turkey around the mid-late 1800's; fully embracing the first instant photography development system known as collodion or wet plate method. With the exception of some found photographs, the real story of the disappearance was scant at best so a story was devised in which “Lev” (the protagonist) found himself stumbling upon what he thought to be the workings of parasitic angels and demons in his life; slowly sliding from the background to the foreground of his photographs; later entering his own life with a proposition that many men have succumbed to since the advent of our existence: a trade up. Each song on the record follows a linear narrative arc that simultaneously deals with photography (the collodion method and photo trading), astronomy, these earth bound parasitic gods (based loosely on some of the half baked ideas of aliens proposed by Bob Frissell and Erich von Daniken), and a family relative named “Bedia” who sought out the truth of his disappearance nearly a generation later and also later went missing.
The record was tracked in various New England studios with Scott Riebling (Fall Out Boy, Von Bondies), mixed by the esteemed and darling Scott Solter (John Vanderslice, Spoon, Pattern is Movement), and mastered by Dave McNair (Midlake, Los Lobos) of Sterling Sound in New York. The end result is a departure from contemporaries' "I know a guy with Pro Tools" approach to recording.
Eksi Ekso tour dates
3/03/11 - Brooklyn, NY - The Charleston
3/05/11 - Boston, MA - Great Scott’s (CD Release)
3/18/11 - Austin, TX - Valhalla (SXSW Official Showcase)
Brown Shark Red Lion Tracklisting
01. Kills Of The Flood Tide
02. Carte De Visite
03. Rein, White Sun
04. Brown Shark, Red Lion
05. Traitor Traitor
06. Bellows To Brass Lens
07. 14 For 3
08. West Of Rize
09. The Pilot And The Pod
10. A Dead Light
11. Black Sea Accomplice
"Brown Shark Red Lion" by Eksi Ekso - release date: 03/15/11..