Dead Leaf Echo offers up layers of heavy reverb, subtle, fluid rhythms and ambling, mopey vocals in the true shoegazing tradition. At times, they find interesting ways to get the vocals to work in concert with the rhythms and it’s strikingly good. They don’t get there consistently, but when they do, they really shine.
The fuzzy punch at the end of "Thought Talk" explodes out of the song’s quiet, changing the energy without changing the song. Pale Fire’s title track is reminiscent of U2’s "Out of Control," only pushed to the extreme. "Reflex Motion" taps into the carefully constructed moods of late Joy Division.
Dead Leaf Echo ambles through echoy, fluid and darkly trippy songs that give a strong nod to 80s guitar and noise pop and occasionally find some of the same ambient ground that Radiohead did in their mid-90s prime (albeit by a somewhat different route). Pale Fire is an album focused on flow, not hooks, and its charms take time to sink through the density of the sound. Be patient though, because the mood that comes with the album is quite vivid in its best moments.