Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Io Echo

Io Echo have exactly the sort of names you want your sallow goth rockers to have. These guys have monikers that literally make them sound like characters from Interview with a Vampire or long dead Austro-Hungarian nobility. The girl one is called Ioanna Gika and the boy one is called Leopold Ross. I mean, how much more gothic do you need?

It gets worse, though. Not only are they full of talk about how their uncle is Vlad the Impaler and how their clothes are held together with black duct tape, they are also in the sort of White Stripes- two peas in a pod – relationship that makes you wonder if they are a) brother and sister, or b) boning each other. Possibly they’ve sired each other in some kind of dark ritual.

Whatever the truth they both look in need of a good bath and maybe a quick blast on a sun bed. For a band based between London and L.A, it’s clear to see where most of their hours are spent. Perhaps this is why there is such a British sound to their music. You could happily file these guys next to Echo and the Bunnymen and Siouxsie (especially the songs ‘Shanghai Girls’ and the rather spectral ‘When the Lilies Die’), but then again, they could as easily squeeze in next to Everything But The Girl.

Although they look pretty dreary, they actually make the kind of music that you can imagine hearing on the sound track of a Tim Burton film about a misunderstood monster with a Ghost World lunch box. In other words, while IE’s music rumbles along like the orange blossom special, it never becomes so sludgy that it loses its pop factor. It remains fun and colourful and by being heavily synth driven, it stays catchy.

They’ve recently toured with the Drums, which shows how they’re angling their drone pop to the mainstream, and if domination wasn’t top of their wish list for 2011 they’ve got a funny way of showing it. Since they opened Nine Inch Nails’ last ever show, they’ve been jumping on and off the tour buses of Florence and the Machine, La Roux and the Big Pink. This from a band whose live shenanigans include throwing up on-stage. You’ve been warned. If you do manage to catch them, make sure you don’t slip on any barf.


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