Coffee Cups is like one of those movies that takes place in one 24-hour period – but instead of two hours of film, the L.A.-based trio Hello Echo pack the feelings of dusk ‘till dawn on a Saturday night into three songs. Their East Coast roots knotted around their West Coast vibe to create grooves encapsulating Americana, folk-rock, and ‘60s fuzz on their 2010 debut Hello. The title track kicks the experience off with a similar feel, as a fuzzy, jangling punk jam whose mug runneth over. “Coffee cups and Adderall, now calm me down with alcohol,” front man and guitarist Sean Aylward cries, his voice tainted with rasp.
And then the album does just that as it departs from daytime and stimulants and saunters toward two shots of whiskey. The result is “Country”, a four-and-half-minute rock ‘n’ roll treat, backboned by a sexy guitar in the style of Dan Auerbach slapped next to fuzzy bassline that would have trouble fitting through the door of this party. The song’s roller-coaster pace begs for the repeat button, and you’re guaranteed to think the climax has hit at least twice before it actually does (when it does, hold on).
“I Wore It Too” is the always-welcomed joint at the end of this night, and after the first two songs, appreciation stems for this song’s acoustic guitar, slow harmonica, and lyrics filled with late-night contemplations like, “You can be anything that you want to/ Believe and work hard, and before long, you’ve made it/ For some, that may work, but for the rest, how much of that’s true?”
The album’s sounds and styles could have been stretched out over a couple more tracks, but with a sophomore LP coming early next year, Coffe Cups does exactly what an EP should do: it impresses and leaves its listener pining for more.
Essential Tracks: “Country”