New Zealand produces some great bands, like Crowded House, but are not renowned for their rock bands.  Ekko Park are a rare exception.

Ekko Park are a fine rock band from Auckland, New Zealand, that consists of guitarist and singer Joe Walsh, guitarist Alex Hargreaves, drummer Nick Douch and bassist Bryan Bell.

The band have released two previous albums: 2013’s Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Today which was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards and 2015’s Know Hope which was nominated for the 2016 Taite Music Prize. Both albums charted Top 15 in the Official New Zealand Music Chart and were in the Top 5 local releases on release week.

EKKO PARK – Horizon

The band released their third album Horizon in August 2020. The first single from the album “All Eyes On Me” features guest vocalist Grant Nicholas of Welsh (!) indie rock greats Feeder.  And it shreds!  I was completely entranced by their melodic rock and the freshness of the sound.  It bounces at you with the brightness of a thousand suns.  The singing of Walsh wraps around your soul and lingers at all times of the day.  The choruses stick with you and the sheer joy makes you come alive.

Ekko Park – photo by Christian Tjandrawinata

This album is very therapeutic in these troubled months.  It contains more melody than most bands make in their whole careers.  The songs are a very personal focus on topics such as grief and loss.  The lyrics are wonderful little vignettes of observational thoughts, as illustrated by the poetic heart of “Oil & Water“.

Oddly, there is a Celtic kind of vibe for songs like “Bassano Sky“, which echoes back to prime Thin Lizzy or Big Country.  It works magnificently within the context of the panoramic framework of the record.  I close my eyes and imagine epic contests within a bucolic environment.  This album really does work as a journey across the world.

End Thoughts

The world may be about to end with pandemics, wars and hate, but Ekko Park makes the descent into hell much more bearable!  Check these NZ warriors out and enjoy some time in the Park.

BUY: MusicGlue

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Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Coxy