Comprised of Tony Hajjar, Troy Van Leeuwen, Mike Zarin, and Troy Sanders, Gone Is Gone is an L.A.-based four-piece band. Today, Gone Is Gone have just managed to put their second release of material out - only six months after their debut offering (a self-titled eight-song EP) saw release on July 8th, 2016.
Fans of Mastodon (Sanders), Queens of the Stone Age (Van Leeuwen) and At the Drive-In (Hajjar) have all very likely shown interest in Gone Is Gone, largely on the laurels of these members and the bands they have dwelt in. I’ve read some confusing reviews on last year's debut EP that seem to be from reviewers expecting Gone Is Gone’s material to replicate the band members' original sound.
There are certainly elements of QOTSA, Mastodon and ATDI in the twelve songs on Echolocation, but the album is thankfully something new and exciting for both the contributors AND listeners. The jams are a slower, drone-laden mix of sounds that channel some of the finer moments of Failure. While the debut EP certainly had moments of magic, Echolocation feels like there’s an overall cohesion to the songs - like it was written and sequenced to be an actual album and not just a collection of esoteric jams. It’s certainly not as heavy as I expected it to be, but I think I like it even more for this very reason.
There’s a playful musicality on all of these songs that draw the listener in - certainly on tracks like "Ornament", "Slow Awakening" / "Fast Awakening" and the title track, that is genuinely appealing. I have had Echolocation playing on repeat many times over the past few days and shall continue to do so for the foreseeable future.