City Escape

Avalanches EP

Written by: TL on 15/01/2010 19:56:21

And now, moving on, we arrive at the second of my prophesied reviews of EP's lost and found from last year. Tonight it's time for my current favourite in the pack, one that brings my mind to think of past EP's, ones we became aware of late, yet they proceeded to rock our worlds. The truest of scenesters will remember our justified fascination with Ice Nine Kills and this first EP of the Aussie four piece City Escape, called "Avalanches" is my bid for the 2009 version of that.

A brief intro track opens up proceedings with a small classic piano tune, before chugging post-hardcore guitars tear a hole in the beginning of "When The Vultures Start To Circle", and the piano's change to employ a curious little scale under the vocals that will make you think "Holy shit, did Danny Stevens (The Audition) go ahead become an awesome singer in a good band?". In reality though, the similarity is slight, and the actual music bears far more resemblance to that of Secret & Whisper and The Receiving End Of Sirens, though the dramatic dynamics, the use of the piano and the soaring vocals, are all things that should ensure approval from fans of Emery and Chiodos as well.

That's not the important bit though, that would be to appreciate the excellent compositional skill at play here. Not only does sparkling ambiance combine with sampled strings and keys to make for a beautiful and immersive soundscape, but the songs also flow brilliantly, leading the listener through mellow and loud parts alike, almost constantly accompanied by the charismatic croon of singer/guitarist Jarrod. This results in a soundscape that is delightfully engaging even at the most anonymous of its moments (if such can be said to exist), and brilliantly exhilarating at its highlights - Those being for instance in "Give My Remains To Broadway", where Jarrod strongly proclaims "And I will stand up for what I believe" briefly after the first chorus, or when his voice is supplemented with those of the Andy (drums) and Chris (also guitar) in a harmony that keeps ringing in your mind for long after it ends the song "Now, The Hard Part". Oh and behold, there are heavy parts in there as well, where the distortion is turned up and the scarcely used screams come in with great effect!

In fact, those screams are the only thing I'd really want more of on this record, otherwise, City Escape are pretty much exactly what I want from my post-hardcore, and if they can manage to improve things before putting out a full LP, I'll be very, very interested in seeing where things will go for them. I'll probably wear the EP down before then though, because I've heard it some six or seven times today, and I'm not nearly sick of it, so what this all comes down to my friends, is a very, very warm recommendation from yours truly:

Download: "Now, The Hard Part", "When The Vultures Start To Circle", "Give My Remains To Broadway"
For The Fans Of: Secret & Whisper, The Receiving End Of Sirens, Emery, Chiodos, Closure In Moscow
Listen: myspace.com/cityescaperock

Release Date 12.05.2009
Taperjean Records

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