We cannot claim that post hardcore band Escape The Justice is exposing yet anything startlingly new for the genre on their debut EP Abscond, there is something invigorating and fresh about the Manchester quintet which makes them stand out whilst entrenching a promise and expectation that they will evolve into something unique and intensely potent. The six track EP is a striking and passionate affair which captivates from start to finish as it explores the band’s creativity. It uses existing armoury for sure but strips it down and rebuilds it with a heart and aggression that slaps the listener strongly on the senses for a richly pleasing and dramatic confrontation.
The band was formed in January of this year by vocalist James Holman, guitarist Tom Crane, and drummer John ‘Jay Kay’ Kendrick, all three formerly in Our Innocence Lost. Bringing in bassist Abe Shimmin and guitarist Jonny Gill, the band took no time in attacking their passionate and aggressive intent with a sound which initially was suggested at in the latter part of the founding three’s last band but has now been expanded and taken to new boundaries. Recorded at Patron Sound and produced by Elliot Middleton (guitarist of I’ll Stay in Memphis) and then mastered by Joey Sturgis of Foundation Recording Studio, Connersville, Indiana, Abscond makes no pretence of its will and hunger and takes no time in engaging, seducing, and then ravaging thoughts and emotions.
The release opens with warm but senses alerting atmospheres as first track Ascension brews into view. Once settled in the ear keys and guitars gently place their narrative on the table as the mellow tones of Holman tenderly make their embrace. It is not long though before his tones turn to a rapacious squall within the still smouldering invitation, beats and bass adding melancholic resonance around him. Turning up their intensive heat the band unleash sinewy textures to provoke further emotion before simmering again into a magnetic melodic seduction. It is a strong start which it is hard to say if a full track or introduction; truly it is neither but a compelling beckoning somewhere in between.
The following Austerity is bred from a short sonic lancing before turning into a corrosive blaze of rhythmic tenderising from Kendrick and acidic guitar fire from Crane and Gill, both taking their bite at the senses with intrusive twisted riffs and flesh sculpting sonic searing. It is an imaginative and violent piece of inventive confrontation with the great blend of clean and scowling coarse vocals as enterprising and impacting as the maelstrom of sounds.
Aegis takes its turn on the senses next, the song a torrent of predatory vocal deliverance and malicious sonic artistry. Like its predecessors it is also a thoughtfully composed and deliciously delivered blend of melodic temptation and aggressive rabidity but takes things further in its inventive shifting and shuffling of ideas and directions. Unpredictable and continually riveting it is an outstanding track which alongside Austerity stands as best on the release whilst again sparking the expectation of even greater things ahead on the band’s horizon.
The next up Addicted also steals the march on most other genre released songs, certainly this year, with its esurient energy and hunger, not forgetting accomplished musicianship and craft. Though not a song which stands out on the release itself as much as others, it is a fluid and unrelenting grit fuelled fury with a djent tendency to its attack and ferocity to its passion.
From the short ambience soaked instrumental Abeyance, the Abscond EP ends with the brutal Anoesia, a track which tears at the senses and chews vigorously at thoughts from its opening seconds. Like the others though it is not one to settle in a single guise or stance and expands into an excellence tempest of outstanding varied vocals, barbed guttural scrubs, and melodic alchemy within caustic maliciousness. It is a scintillating finale to an impressively striking release.
You still feel there is a way to go before the band find their truly unique voice but Abscond suggests it is just a formality. For fans of the likes of Memphis May Fire, Heart of a Coward, and Of Mice and Men, Escape The Justice has all the potential and skills to become a major presence in UK rock, and with the Abscond EP being offered for free Download for just twenty four hours from 12 Noon on Saturday June 22nd it would be stupid no to join their rise from its very first steps. Find out more at http://www.escapethejustice.com
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