Escape Grace – II (CD)

Escape Grace plays a brand of hardcore that is tremendously influencd by the radio rock of the early nineties. This means that songs like “Spartacus” have a tremendous amount of Layne Staley-like vocals that work well with the fury that the rest of the band puts into this composition. The buitars and drums are not the only force present during this track, as the bass has a lot to say during “Spartacus”. Escape Grace does not fall into the same category of bands that follow the trends that are popular in mainstream music, and for this the band should be rewarded. The band falls aa little bit into a rut by the time that “Gormandizer” starts, as the song does not contribute much of anything to individual expectations of Escape Grace.

Sure, there is a distinct sound that is locked into by this track, but much of what made “Spartacus” so special is transferred over to “Gormandizer”. The screamed out vocals on “Gormandizer” are removed from any influence, so that there are equal amounts of anger that are pushed on both sides of the band. Even as the band coalesces its sound, it unnecessarily limits itself to a smaller set of possible sounds. The band only starts to bring itself out of the rut that it has created for itself by the end of “Siren City”. During “Siren City”, a distinct eighties metal sound becomes obvious as the major influence for the guitars. The breakdown and hardcore vocals present during the track keep the band firmly planted in the style that they started out “II” with, but this infusion of new blood is precisely what the band needs to keep individuals listening in for the rest of the EP.

The disc is less than sixteen minutes long, but the fact that three of the songs on “II” are extremely closely grouped to each other should raise a red flag that the band may not be able to pull a full album. The band has talent and there are just not enough songs on this disc to tell whether the band has that ability to finish up properly, but this EP makes me think that there might be some problems. Here’s to hoping that the band can come up with a good expansion of their sound for “III” and beyond; I know there is a tremendous amount of talent floating around the band but a reluctance to expand to other genres and musical styles.

Top Track: Siren City

Rating: 4.6/10

Escape Grace – II / 2006 Arsenal / 4 Tracks / http://www.escapegrace.net / http://www.arsenalrecords.com / Reviewed 22 May 2006

[JMcQ]

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