The Escaped – S/T (CD)

Six cuts on this self-titled album only stack up to barely break the thirteen-minute mark, so it really is a challenge for a reviewer to adequately gain a proper understanding about the band. The Escaped seem to be a band that takes a lot from early hardcore (Minor Threat, Black Flag) and incorporate it with both newer strains of hardcore (Righteous Jams) and punk (Behind Enemy Lines). As such, each track is imbued with the same breakneck-tempo and sloppy but effectual guitars. It is when the band all throws in on the chorus, such as in “Lost” that The Escaped really begin to impress. It is true that the band knows how to use their instruments and keep largely away from the cheeseball guitar solos that sink a band like Sum 41 and harder-rock acts like Monster Magnet.

The dual vocalist nature of The Escaped just scream out originality, and the attention given to vocals on this disc reflects that. No guitar lines are inconvenienced because Zac and Carter want to sing; everyone is allowed to go at the track with the same fury and not have to subserviate themselves to a second duty in the band. Still, the disc is not perfect, and the main thing that shows that is the tendency for the tracks on this EP to morph into one another without much delineation. There is an argument to be made that it may not be able to change much in the way of style when one is playing that fast, but I would pose that as speed band like Slayer sounds a hell of a lot different than Deicide, even though both bands play the same speed of music. The band adds a needed amount of harmony to their general sound for “Resent”, but even this change in the band’s general sound cannot stop the inertia that has been growing sine “Lost”, where The Escaped really decided to focus on one specific sound instead of attempting different types of punk.

A contrast to that point comes during “Never Be The Same”, where the guitar assault laid down by Justin and Sammy look much more towards the pop-punk side of things than anything, really allowing listeners to take a break from the sound that had dominated throughout. The band has promise, and chances are that the rough spots found on this EP will be largely worked out for their new album.

Top Track: Regret the Day

Rating: 5.1/10

The Escaped – S/T / 2005 TKO / 6 Tracks / http://www.theescaped.net /http://www.tkorecords.com / Reviewed 23 May 2005

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