Elevate Difference

Don't Kiss Her Face

The Echelons have a lot going for them: quirky lyrics, a 1970s-inspired family ensemble, and fun tunes. Made up of father Ben Petrella, children Jessica and Louis, and neighbors Brian Santo and Brandon Grande, the Echelons make their debut with Don't Kiss Her Face.

Jessica is nineteen years old, and brother Louis is only twelve; this multi-generational dynamic gives the band a distinct aesthetic. At times, the band creates a light, west coast sound while the driving rhythms and prominent guitar conjure hints of punk rock.

My favorite song on the album is the title track. Its musical cohesion and witty lyrics tell the story of a high school girl who is too obsessed with her appearance. The band warns possible suitors that “she ain’t got a face until she puts it on in the morning.” Jessica leads the vocals on this piece, unraveling a yarn about a girl that all the boys can’t help gawking at, but who is, inevitably, artificial. I found this song to be a refreshing look at young women and self-image.

While the vocals on some tracks on Don't Kiss Her Face are a little rough around the edges, I am impressed overall with the musicality of the album. Jessica’s voice is clear and wonderfully folksy; I was left wishing she had been featured on more of the tracks. Brandon’s solid drumming and Ben’s strong guitar rifts kept the fledgling group grounded. This group’s funky lyrics and family-style band make them a stand-out in modern rock.

Written by: Cristin Colvin, February 21st 2010

You really should have addressed how the album art and the title track's lyrics relate to females being compelled to look a certain way yet being demonized and harassed when they do. Also, if I saw this album cover without knowing the lyrics to the song, I'd assume it was made by a bunch of ignorant, unimaginative boys who think a plump ass, big tits, and skimpy clothes is hot. The cover really does the band a disservice.

Mandy, You make a good point. It would have behooved me to make some comment about the album artwork. I see the cover as carrying a lot of irony, when considered along with the lyrics to the title song. That song, "Don't Kiss Her Face," pokes fun at the lengths to which women will go to follow (mostly) male-created standards of beauty. You are right, the artwork does seem to negate the point...their subtlety doesn't carry across to a casual viewer.