Start Initiation

The Start’s vocalist Aimee Echo has a way of making you feel like you’re falling backwards, being dragged into a place with dark pockets and sharp edges. Except Echo is so convincing, you’ll be dragged down willingly instead of kicking and screaming. The opening track, "Like Days,” crackles with abandon and artful noise. Echo’s voice demands concentration as she lays out her emotionally wrought lyrics in beautiful, wailing snippets and then morphs into a pack-a-day rasp that eventually grows into guttural screams. But while some female vocalists go from zero to annoying in less than ten seconds, when they start screaming their lyrics, Echo and the rest of the Start come off as provocative and convincing. The lyrics are climactic and the arrangements carry a hard-edged momentum. These characteristics seem to pick up where bands like the defunct Betty Ford left off, but a strong Siouxsie and the Banshees influence can be heard here as well. Rarely is there an album that is described so carefully for fear of not doing it justice, but Initiation has fallen right into that category. There’s too much potential here to be missed, so skip the rent money and go buy this. (Nitro)