Hurst Wanderlust

Brand New History, Econoline Crush’s third and evidently final album, found the band tinkering with an increasingly commercial strain of industrial rock. Sharp corners were sanded down, dissonant instrumentals swapped out for catchy choruses, and singer Trevor Hurst’s voice morphed even further into a sleek, robotic Simon LeBon purr. Wanderlust, the debut EP from former EC mouthpiece Trevor Hurst, surmises what they would have sounded like had their stylistic evolution continued unfettered. The seven tunes here — six of which revolve around the familiar Econoline concerns of addiction, cruelty and betrayal — are 100% all-natural rock’n’roll, employing no artificial samplers or sequencers. Stranger still, Hurst limits his typically OTT vocal bravado to just a few isolated roars, turning in a performance on the sweet, semi-acoustic "Just No Good” that’s affectingly (and eerily) restrained. "Tin Cup” and "Not Broken” are sturdy, chugging rockers built around meaty riffs, while lighter fare like "Stumble” and "Clear Blue” are positively wistful. Wanderlust ought to be a mess ("Ecnonoline Crush, unplugged!”); instead, it’s the beginnings of an intriguing comeback. (Round Rock)