Punk Jazz Rock doesn’t sound too promising, but that’s how the press release describes Echo Fisk and Water Sports. It sounds more like experimental jazz to me, something in the vein of The Feed Back or something like that. I think the Punk element comes from the fact that the three Norwegians in the band are all bald. It’s disjointed, whirling and compelling stuff with some jazz sensibilities and some added craziness.
Vinyl LP in edition of 300 copies.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 25 June 2015
Echo Fisk have come termed “punk jazz”, though in reality what they’re making with ‘Water Sports’ is a freeform record in the John Zorn tradition, albeit with none of the grindcore brevity -- even if they occasionally toy with his blastbeats. On this peculiar and transient record, sax combines woozily with haphazard drumming climbing up the tempos, plus the occasional sound effect or video game synth blowout. It’s strange and silly, and not for the chill-hearted, but it is something of a treat for the confused ears.
‘Water Sports’ also comes self-described as a harsh listen, which is not entirely true: once integrated into the record’s fractured tone, the synths are the only part of the record that jar, and they seem to do so with the kind of proggy love for the fantastical than out of a will to punish. Think Tortoise eschewing their brand of post-rock for the gloopy ‘Beacons of Ancestorship’ and you’ve got the synthwork on this record -- it comes in spontaneously like an out of place guest star, stamping a record of raw percussion and groaning sax.
On “Ecopopulism” the band pull together for a more straightforward workout with synth propelling forward in a straight line towards delayed guitar that sounds like it’s rewinding. It’s a testament to the winning combination that makes their sound -- brief kisses of convention before weird fucking nonsense. ‘Water Sports’ isn’t really punk -- it just shreds well.
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- Water Sports by Echo Fisk
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