Whether you wish to call the Escobar sound grunge, punk, garage rock or something else, all flavours involved in its riotous tapestry, there is no escaping that it is one glorious rock ‘n’ roll cacophony. The irrefutable proof is to be found in the French duo’s new album The Biggest Sound, a nostril flared stomp more than living up to its container’s moniker.
Hailing from Limoges, Escobar was formed in 2014 by vocalist/guitarist Remi Lucas (Weird Omen, The Anomalys) and drummer Charly “Kayo” Cailleaud (The Bushmen, Daria). With the release of debut album エスコバルin 2015 and its successor Bird Of Prey the following year, the band was met with widespread acclaim which is sure to escalate through the rousing antics of The Biggest Sound. Such its addictive melodic hook laden clamour, it is easy to expect the album to thrust Escobar into the biggest spotlights as eureka moments go off in new ears to spark a fresh tsunami of lusty attention.
It is impossible to truly pin down the Escobar sound though a fusion of The White Stripes, Nirvana, and In The Whale gives a good starting point. As opener Terrible Man alone shows, the pair create a sound distinct and unique to itself and a temptation which swiftly and greedily infests body and imagination. The first song launches at the listener with urgent riffs, their infectious coaxing the prelude to a surge of flirtatious guitar clang and rhythmic incitement. It all settles into a vivacious garage rock stroll with a Latin-esque temperament as Lucas’ magnetic voice and guitar bounce upon the rhythmic web spun by Cailleaud. As virulent for the senses as it is increasingly concussive, the track simply seduces ears and appetite whilst getting the album off to a stunning start.
That success only builds as the insatiable punk ‘n’ roll of Misbehavior devours ears, again the two protagonists creating a noise clad contagion which sparks body and spirit. As with those around it, the song makes physical involvement a given in its swift but unquenchably boisterous escapade; a perpetual trait across The Biggest Sound in evidence again within Stuck On You. Carrying a power pop infection to its earthy rock ‘n’ roll, the track maybe leaps around with less intensity than its predecessor but with equal adventure as grunge instincts fuel the guitar. It is easy to hear Nirvana bred inspirations at play within the song but equally there are moments which seem nurtured by a fondness of bands such as Rocket From The Crypt and The Vaccines as it lays down another peak in the increasingly mountainous landscape of the album.
There is no time to relax as the outstanding Paradise rampages through ears with its Powersolo meets The Dirtbombs scented bedlam and Salvation teases and tempts with its raw and boisterous rock ‘n’ roll. The first offers a great if undemanding line in melodic dexterity within its noisy canter while its successor melds pop catchiness with scorched noise in its contagious swing and both simply up the ante in a release already fixing its permanent position in the passions.
The album’s title track steps up next bringing its own voracious infection to ears and psyche. The Biggest Sound is as much a declaration of the album’s roar as its own controlled and eager suggestion for hips and vocal chords; an invitation just a little dirty and a whole lot irresistible before Big Town bounds in with a swagger soaked in sonic dexterity to drag the energies into lustful compliance all over again. Compared to some, it too has a rein on its attack, saving it for the grunge bred eruptions which urge greater zeal from song and listener alike.
The psych rock kissed minimalism of Brain Out simply seduces and manipulates straight after; Lucas in guitar and voice a puppeteer as the song sculpts pop rock in its purest form. Slim and forcibly low key its glory is matched by the contrasting creative howl of Changeover. To be fair, the song too has a fine twist in infectious restraint and inventive enterprise but still escalates into a fiery roar which sears as it seduces. Both tracks hit the spot like a rock ‘n’ roll cupid though each is slightly outshone by the throbbing saunter of Stranger In Blood. As across the whole album, Cailleaud creates a rhythmic enticement which lures eager participation and rock ‘n’ roll instincts like a siren. His net is then entangled in the sonic machination of Lucas; the pair combining to beguile and incite without reservation.
The album concludes with the sonic commotion of Dumb Feelings, a slice of voracious punk rock with a whiff of Iggy Pop and the psychosis of Melvins in its seriously catchy riot and finally the irresistibly nagging of Drifting. The song is majestic, its jagged body of riffs and harmonic flirtation a show stealer as it slips through a celestial climate which haunts the senses. A final twist in the creative adventure of the album, the track sublimely and inescapably leaves a longing for more which that play button instantly satisfies.
There is always something new to explore to take us away from even the best records, fresh encounters to assess, but there are a few which make it very difficult to move on from without just one more union, and another….. The Biggest Sound is one of those; a joy which still resurfaces to bring our day to an invigorating conclusion and that is maybe reason enough for all to go explore.
The Biggest Sound is out now through Dirty Water Records (USA), Adrenalin Fix Music, Beast Records, and Strychnine Production and available @ https://escobartheband.bandcamp.com/album/the-biggest-sound
Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017
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