Eddy Current Suppression Ring finally made the long-awaited comeback with All in Good Time, their 4th studio album. Having been known as the preachers of the ‘we’re just jamming’ sound, the quarter returned after an 8-year hiatus that followed the release of their 22-track album So Many Things. With a wide catalog of the eccentric rhythms, they have formed a rather solid base of expectations for the latest release… or so you thought. All in Good Time steps away from the band’s original tone, transmitting a level of maturity previously unheard-of. Slower in tempo and more cohesive in sound, it breaks down the pre-set forecast with every track. And while it may feel unusual at times, Brendan Suppression’s spoken-like singing is still clearly heard throughout the 11 new songs.
From the first notes of All in Good Time, the band emits a strong instrumental presence that they’re known for, although this time around their standard unorthodox flow is missing. As drums take over the scene the melodies start to feel familiar, but the conversance is not sourced from their former sound. The notes of sophistication are further expanded on with ‘Medieval Wall’. Written with the help of Mike Young, the song offers a touch of nostalgia that doesn’t stick for too long as lines like “Do you wish, do you reminisce?” sound almost as if Suppression himself is telling us to get over it.
ECSR went from fun and somewhat chaotic arrangements to a clever execution of their musical abilities as a call-to-action, which is basically what ‘Our Quiet Whisper’ is all about. Perhaps this is done to display their newly discovered evangelism towards being heard without making a lot of noise. The band does not fail to acknowledge their abilities as the “quiet whisper has become a chant”, and a rather catchy one. Those expecting the old idiosyncratic sound of ECSR will be left disappointed, as the four musicians start using their auditory set up to augment the lyrics rather than camouflage them.
The band does not stop here. ‘Reoccurring Dream’ offers a steady layer of simplicity with the vocals and guitar delivering in synergy. Strangely refreshing, the song feels light to the ear. With such directness comes a blend of repetition, which at first appeals to the ear, but the excitement starts to fade as the album carries on. Tracks like ‘Future Self’ barely change in rhythm, falling rather flat even alongside the band’s freshly unveiled instrumental interaction. Add the somewhat monotone lyrics, and one starts struggling with making it to the end of the 6-minute long composition.
From a certain angle, the album sounds like a whole cinematographic experience of sorts with the use of sound instead of visuals. At the same time, the songs become hard to distinguish and at a certain point, the listener can find themselves confused as to whether it is ‘Our Quiet Whisper’ or ‘Human Race’ playing. Or so it seems until ‘Like a Comet’. The track is like a blasting alarm during the REM sleep, waking you up in a heartbeat. This is the perfect raw sonic overload that has been anticipated and instead of the customary off-beat sound, we got on-beat hysteria.
Swiftly, the band calms down for the closing track ‘Modern Man’. Like much of the album, this song craves for an individual listen to each of the instruments, something the musicians give plenty of time for with a 4-minute build up. The audience needs to be just as patient as the composition that slowly adds complexity with every beat. The thing that is definitely worth noting is the lyrical construction that the band put on full display (in a cool punk way of course).
All in Good Time asks for a degree of diligence from the audience to truly appreciate the return of Eddy Current Suppression Ring. It seems like they have discovered a new musical aesthetic, which many of us weren’t expecting. This time around it is not about having the speakers cranked on full volume, but rather about producing energy through solidarity as a band. The instruments work together freely and the overall sound seems buoyant, maybe even too buoyant at times. Still, Brendan Suppression, Rob Solid, Eddy and Danny Current are doing what they’re known for – garage rock.
With predictability never being part of their formula, Eddy Current Suppression Ring is accustomed to going against the tide with their work and All in Good Time is no exception.