Saxophone-fronted rock n’ roll: a curious concept that spurred four hometown friends to form A Troop of Echoes in 2005. The band began in a basement beneath the innocuously suburban North Kingstown, RI. Starting as a laboratory experiment consisting of saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums, their permanent lineup coalesced two weeks before recording their first EP. Peter Gilli blew, Nicholas Cooper plucked, Harrison Hartley thumped, Daniel Moriarty pounded. It was awful. With a recording under their belt, they were eager to play shows. Strangely, other bands did not want to play with them.
With no local saxophone-driven rock scene to latch onto, the Troop ventured into the wild. They appeared in local watering holes, rubbing elbows with punks and jazzers and bands that play staggeringly, incomprehensibly loud. They introduced new instruments, including soprano sax and Harry’s vintage moog synth. Marrying Moriarty and Hartley’s unified stomp to clanging guitar and snarling saxophone, they filed their fangs and forged a new aesthetic alluding to their influences of Sonic Youth, Battles, and Coltrane. The group solidified in sound and ideology, becoming a fixture at Providence’s forward-looking AS220.
While Pete, Nick, and Harry studied music at the University of Rhode Island, Dan followed in the footsteps of Brian May, pursuing a degree in astrophysics at UMass. Using their geographical separation to their advantage, they cultivated an underground scene through shows at Dan’s Amherst cabin. Their 2008 EP “Home Exxxperiments” is a snapshot of this period. It holds rough versions of many of the songs that would become staples of their increasingly combustible live show. Melding Providence noise with cohesive and balanced songwriting, they embarked on a series of regional tours, appearing at Baltimore’s SONAR, New York City’s Knitting Factory and Northampton’s Iron Horse Music Hall.
During the next year the band maintained a long-distance relationship with Moriarty, who had moved to Baltimore to study moonrocks. They commuted constantly between states to ready the material for the recording that would introduce them to the world. In 2010, they released their debut LP “Days in Automation”, recorded at Machines with Magnets (Battles, The Body, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). The album has since been covered by press in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Russia, and has been gleefully purchased and pirated by music fans across the globe. On the live circuit, they have opened for similarly adventurous musicians, sharing bills with groups like Warpaint, Fang Island, and Caspian. The band has since signed with Oak Apple Records for distribution in Canada, and is currently working on material for a new EP and summer tour.