ESCAPE ARTISTS: “Escape Artists”

 

 

Rock band from the 1980ies releases album for the first time

Better late then never. Rock trio from the early eighties releases debut album after 29 years

Most bands would probably have given up and thrown in the towel, but the darkwave veterans in Escape Artists have turned the other cheek and been patient. And now, some 29 years after their debut album ’Brittle China’ should have seen the light of day, the band actually releases their debut album.

 

“The songs have piled up over the last couple of years and we went into the studio with 27 songs in April (2012). 13 of these how now been found worthy of being compiled into the format we all believe tells the best story, which is the album”, explains Torben Johansen, singer, songwriter, producer, etc. in Escape Artists. The album, which is released digitally on November 21, is without title, but not without direction. Whereas the 2010 EP ‘ashes & debris’, the bands first release since the ‘The Howl’ (7” vinyl from 1983), exhibited a will to go in many different directions, the debut album is more focussed. It establishes the band’s ability to create a quasi-symphonic while dark and rocky sound with simple means, and demonstrates at the same time the group’s way of writing material with variation and ability to tickle the listeners’ ears.

 

Return of Ulysses

The songs on the album stretch out: from the opening ‘The Flood’ with its Smiths-like up-tempo, jangly, pseudo-optimistic beat combined with ironic lyrics full of Weltschmerz, through the tender ‘Spellbound’, which fragile yet subdued rolls towards a chorus reminiscent of sad nursery rhymes, to the closing song ‘Climb No More’, which with a pulse like a slave ship reaches a final crescendo of wonderful infernal noise, Sturm und Drang in the theme about the futility of senseless striving for a career: “Slowly but surely, thorns in your crown, they bore inwards and you will go down”. Indeed, the tone of voice is serious, but the album is also characterised by a musical playfulness that happily includes banjo, bombastic strings, kalimba, sitar, and Theremin as a supplement to the core of drums, bass, and guitar. One tends to imagine the unlikely meeting between Joy Division and The Beach Boys. With their debut album Escape Artists proves a will to venture into unknown territory. With captivating stories, the listener at home is included into the greatness of this new territory. Never mind then that it has taken the good Ulysses almost 30 years to return to home, as long as new adventures keep coming.