Rush Reboot – Test for Echo (1996)

With everything playing out in media these days. With the way sensationalism is nationalism, I decided to present the title track for their 1996 album Test for Echo.

A little bit about this album that I am pasting from the band’s website:

About Test For Echo

Test for Echo is the band’s 16th studio album. It was recorded from January-March 1996 at the legendary Bearsville Studios in New York state (now defunct) and at Reaction Studios (also defunct) in Toronto in April 1996.

The band returned after nearly a two-year hiatus with a power and ferocity that rivals some of their earliest material. From the metallic feel of the title track, to the driving force behind “Driven” and the heavy feel of “Dog Years,” the guys beefed-up their sound and crafted a Rush record for the ’90s.

Neil recorded a majority of his drum tracks for the album using traditional grip, after receiving drum lessons from jazz instructor Freddie Gruber.


The lyrics of this song should remind so many of us about the publicity surrounding crimes and crime-like mentality.  The title for this song came from a thought Neil had when traveling. He co-wrote this one with Canadian lyricist Pye Dubois.

Peart: “I was up in Yellowknife last June on a motorcycle trip across the country, and there’s one of those Inukashuk above the town overlooking it, and I was quite taken with it. I bought a postcard almost exactly the image you see on the cover… I just came back with this postcard and I thought of “test for echo.” I thought that’s exactly what these men mean when you’re out in the wilderness… when you’ve been hiking for a few days and you come across one of these things, it’s such an affirmation that there’s life out there. Again the same thing: it’s an echo… and that’s the feeling a traveler in the Arctic would get, that it was a sign of life. The same with the satellite dishes. I was kind of referring to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the test for echo going out that way.” – from “Jam! Showbiz” October 16, 1996.


Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart and Pye Dubois

Here we go — vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Here we go — in slo-mo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Some kind of trouble on the sensory screen
Camera curves over caved-in cop cars
Bleacher-creatures, would-be desperados
Clutch at plausible deniability
Don’t touch that dial —
We’re in denial
Until the showcase trial on TV

Some kind of pictures on the sense o’clock news
Miles of yellow tape — silhouetted chalklines
Tough-talking hood boys in pro-team logo knockoffs
Conform to uniforms of some corporate entity
Don’t change that station
It’s Gangster Nation
Now crime’s in syndication on TV

What a show — vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Touch and go — in slo-mo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

Some kind of drama live on satellite
Hidden camera coverage from the crime scene to the courtroom
Nail-biting hoodboys in borrowed ties and jackets
Clutching at the straws of respectability
Can’t do the time?
Don’t do the crime
And wind up in the perp walk on TV


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