Trevor Hurst vocals
Robbie Morfitt guitars
Nico Quintal drums & percussion
Thom Christiansen bass
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In his seminal "Jue De Fountaine," French novelist Euxebe Auxtry's protagonist, Leander Highway, takes hits of Econoline Crush, a drug which allows him to conceive of hope amidst a blurry new wave wasteland. Although Vancouver's Econoline Crush is not a drug, it's music -- a hybrid of razorblade electronica and grinding machine pop is nothing short of addicting.
Singer Trevor Hurst, a Manitoba native who grew up trying to find a radio station that didn't play Gordon Lightfoot, made his musical way west in 1989 and set up shop in Seattle. Later, after answering an ad for a band deeply into electronic music he relocated to Vancouver and Econoline Crush was born. The Devil You Know, the band's second full length since 94's Purge EP, is an honest and incendiary collection of eleven songs that cover such subjects as friends that fail, the terrors of AIDS, and the demolition of personal relationships. As a matter of fact, it's one of the most personal discs you'll ever hear.
"I never write songs that aren't personal to me and there's a lot of personal angst on this record," Hurst says. "In a lot of ways it was very therapeutic for me to make this record, and by doing this I was able to get some closure." Hurst and his bandmates find that closure together by filling each of its compositions with propulsive blasts of intensity and heart-wrenching urgency. Although The Devil You Know is a more infectious offering then its last effort, the band still play an unholy mix of industrial thrash-pop and atomic rock. From the full tilt blast of "Burnt" to the catchy groove of "Home," it becomes clear that Econoline Crush is not a band who skimps on passion or heart.
Some critics have been know to accuse electronic music of lacking heart but Hurst disagrees. "It can," he says, "but you can't be a slave to the technology and use it just for the sake of it. I use it as an emotional enhancer because I think it can add tension and dynamic to a song that was unattainable with just the conventional guitar, bass, and drum setup. It goes beyond that because anything you hear in your mind you can create and I think that if you use it to enhance your music instead of making it what the music is about then it's an amazing tool."
Produced by Sylvia Massey who has turned the knobs for the likes of Tool, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Prince, The Devil You Know has already gone Gold in Canada and is comfortably on its way to Platinum. In addition, the band has toured Canada and Europe with such luminaries as KISS, The Young Gods, Die Krupps, and The Tea Party. On the eve of the U.S. release Hurst is optimistic and feeling better about Econoline Crush than he ever has. "I think on The Devil You Know we've grown as songwriters and found a chemistry that wasn't present before. We're excited to get back into the clubs and win a whole different audience over. We're excited to spread the word."
Alex Green San Francisco, 1998
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