Æ: Aglet Eaters

Introducing: Wonky Doll and the Echo

Posted in Discover by R on June 29, 2013
(L-R) Kostas Antonakoglou, George Lemons (feat. UV protection), YIOS and Octapus.

(L-R) Kostas Antonakoglou, George Lemons (feat. UV protection), YIOS and Octapus.

Wonky Doll and the Echo – named so because it’s shorter than saying “George Lemons, YIOS, Kostas Antonakoglou and Octapus” but not by much. Wonky Doll and The Echo are from Athens. The one in Greece. If you ever see them, introduce yourself. That’s George on the vocals and the guitar, there’s YIOS on the bass and the backing vocals, you can find Kostas on the synths and the guitar and behind them you have Octapus on the drums.”

First things first – what is up with that name? George says “Our name symbolizes something beautiful and worn at the same time, mainly because of the time passed or its mistreatment. The echo interferes in order to give the essence of sound.”

Wonky Doll and the Echo are three years old – yes really – formed in 2010, by George and YIOS. Says George: “We created some songs we actually liked and we decided to form a band. By that time we met Kostas, whose part is to play the synth and occasionally the guitar. Then, we found Octapus and after a while we became a solid team.”

He continues: “Our first goal was to make songs we enjoy. After that, we realized that many people like our songs too so we started doing live shows and a few months later we recorded our first LP. Wonky Doll and the Echo is a vehicle for artistic expression for all four of us.”

They’ve got a video out – heads up: it’s got blood, scorpions, and a wonky doll (natch). The director of this creepfest is this fellow called Costas Gounaris who the band met through a friend at their album’s release gig in October 2012. Just look at what he made for them… wtf was the brief? Kostas (the one in the band) explains

“We told him we wanted something impressive, so, he came up with the brilliant idea of making a double project, a music video and a short movie. He also proposed getting the budget through crowd-funding (on Indiegogo). And so it happened, in February 2013, thanks to our friends and fans we were ready to start shooting. After two months of pre-production, shootings and post-production, we now all enjoy our first music video. The short movie is still on the post-production stage and we have taken care of the soundtrack!”

It’s more than just mindless gore – you can’t help but feel there’s meant to be some sort of profound message hiding under there. What is it? The band doesn’t elaborate much and George declares elusively that it’s all “just symbolic images of the director, visualizing the lyrics and the atmosphere of the song.” – yes, sure. We believe that.

Here’s what’s interesting: Wonky Doll and The Echo – you hadn’t heard of them till now – but they’ve gone and come out with this, yes, ok creepy, but also impressively executed… music video. Who even makes music videos anymore? And what indie band would invest so much in a video of this calibre? Why a video? Why now?  Kostas puffs up with pride and explains the band’s aesthetic preference: “I cannot vouch for other bands, but we are definitely one of those that believe audio and video mixed together can give a very impressive and artistic result. Not to mention the fact that music videos bring you closer to the audience. And it’s not just music videos, we recently started to add video art on our gigs and it really enriches the atmosphere. It’s perfect!”

Speaking of gigs… what are they like? “Every gig we’ve done is quite memorable,” says Octapus, “but I would choose the one we supported Clan of Xymox, in December 2011, for various reasons. It was our second gig and we were playing for the first time in front of more than 300 people. Plus, at the end of the show, Panos from Geheimnis Records, proposed to start discussing the release of an album in vinyl. After a few months, Pleasant Thoughts was in our hands in vinyl!”

The album – Pleasant Thoughts – is as, if not more, admirably put together as the video. ‘The Cut’, listened to without the visuals, is a jewel. The album’s got the Cure-ish quality that makes it as suited to a dim flat brimming with desperately mingling dark-haired 37-year-olds as to a cable-laden haven of a teenager going through the paces of self-discovery and deliberately imposed self-loathing. Apathy masks depth and aggression masks melancholy. Despite its blatant complexity, YIOS explains: “The album has a DIY production. It was recorded in George’s bedroom which we “redecorated” a bit of course. We were lucky to have all necessary equipment. The biggest challenge was the production process, mainly done by me and George. It lasted for about two months and we spent many hours each day working on the songs. We almost started hating seeing each other.” He laughs.

You wouldn’t believe it if they hadn’t told you – there isn’t the faintest hint of bedroom recording on Pleasant Thoughts. George adds “The more we play together, the more we evolve as musicians. This is affecting our sound that changes day by day. We have a lot of material and we really want to share it with everyone soon. I have to tell you, I’m excited about our forthcoming work. Our new material sounds deeper, atmospheric but with even more catchier rhythms.”

‘catchy’ – not exactly the word I’d go for when describing something this heavy and bleak but HEY, whatever floats your boat. Listen for yourself:

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