The Great Escape – Balance Ep

Now there’s been a few “Great Escapes” over the years… what springs to mind immediately of course, (apart from nearly drowning in the Bay of Biscay), is Steve McQueen, leaping barbed wire fences in his attempt to escape from Stalag Luft,

Then of course there was that Blur album… not one that gets much airplay anymore in this particular country house. (…see what I did there?)

… the Rifles album from last year, and a We are Scientists, track from the cracking Love and Squalor album… so that’s at least 4 Great Escapes that I personally own! … and then along comes another.

This particular Great Escape, hail from Consett, County Durham and have been playing together since 2007 and chipping away at the local scene, building up a steady following and honing their live performance. And now they’ve released their debut EP “Balance” with a whopping 6 tracks on it.

First out the traps, is the truly phenomenal Lies, a real musical journey, starting with a twinkling synth and a simple time click intro that leads us straight into an enjoyably familiar dirty Mary Chain-esque guitar loop, and we get the first taste of Bennets haunting vocal ability. …and then we start to build, in kicks the drum, a bit of reverb on the voice and even a hand clap!!… (but stick with it,) it keeps building, by this time we’re caught, foot tapping, head nodding, waiting for that drop… “Save your lies”… then we’re changing gear again to an anthemic middle 8, all the time building, building…. then we nicely peak and fade back to that lovely dirty guitar. Moving stuff, I’ve got goose bumps.

Next off, is Agree to Disagree, faster, angrier, punkier… simpler with a less produced feel than Lies, nice metallic “Hooky” bass intro, “Clashy” guitars, but this one definitely driven by the bass… again there’s some cracking vocal ability here.

Lost in Time, Bennets voice holds this simple arrangement, another haunting celtic feel on the vocal… some good underrated drumming too… a lot of space, for guitars to swoop and whirl in and out…I’m starting to get this “Balance” thing… there’s no prima Donna’s here, these guys have a musical respect for each other that belays their years. They’re allowing each other moments to step into the light and then recede, which makes for a good layered sound.

Friction… again that distinctive vocal over this moody acoustic number, which ramps up to a crescendo after about 3minutes.

Enemies… if I’m brutally honest, my least favourite of these 6 very good tracks, and I’m not really sure why… perhaps because the bar, they’ve set is so high… perhaps it’s just the least “balanced”… it’s definitely a more intense listening experience.

Last up, and the track that finishes this value for money, “mini-album” is Carry On.

Now this is one I’ve found myself coming back to again and again… there’s something annoyingly familiar here that I’ve been struggling to place. The drum and bass carries the song like a steady train, (trains…always a good musical analogy) with another catchy swirling, looping guitar. Got to love it when the guitars just allowed space to do its own thing. Looping guitars solid rhythm section and an extra ordinary vocal. The whole package works well and exudes confidence.

Now… seeing as all these tracks are already out there… myspace/facebook, you don’t even have to take my word for it, you can listen to them yourself… and then hopefully you’ll realise these lads are putting their hearts on the line here. So I sincerely hope you’ll give them the benefit of your time, and maybe even part with some cash and buy it, and go and see them live.

Speaking of which they’ve got a string of up-coming dates, starting with the launch of this here very EP on:

1 May 2010. The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle, (EP Launch with, Athletes In Paris, Chased By Wolves )

2 May 2010. Durham Live, Durham

8 May 2010. The Scotch Arms, Consett,

14 May 2010. The Black Horse, Consett,

15 May 2010. Blyth and Tyne, Blyth,

22 May 2010. Golden Lion, Rowlands Gill

28 May 2010. Biker (Mice From Mars) Rally Durham

29 May 2010. The Ox, Stanley

5 Jun 2010. Castle Hotel, Durham

5 Jun 2010. Festival Craghead,

3 Jul 2010. The Fellsider Whickam,

10 Jul 2010. 02 Arena /Live & Unsigned Fest 2010 London

24 Jul 2010. Beamish Mary, Stanley

2 Oct 2010. Castle Hotel Durham,

6 Nov 2010. Anfield Plain Cricket Club Anfield Plain,

By Dave on April 30, 2010

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