Review by: Tom Sloan
This is a split record of a couple of uk bands on what is obviously a new label, called Jazz Beard Records. First up is Escanna who play rock music. “didn’t we meet somewhere like this in “98′” starts off with a bouncy-catchy riff, before bass and a second, more jagged guitar line comes in and gives the intro the feel of a darker kind of groove. The vocals follow soon after in their kind of lazy-punk feel, before the chorus crashes in and the singer erupts into a rather sonically pleasing shouty-sing over more soaring guitars compared with earlier. I know the description of “rock’ doesn’t reveal much, so I should elaborate by assessing that Escanna sound sort of dark, riff based, and very English, and despite the fact I may not choose to listen to much music of that description these days, I like this song and feel it works well. The vocals are distinctive and powerful enough to make songs like the one described above and the next, which is similar in structure, pull through.
They also keep things varied quite well with an instrumental track, mixing it up with some interesting quieter guitar parts, and their last contribution, ’10 ways to improve america’, is the pick of the bunch. Heck, it’s nearly emo! Gradually buiding clean guitar parts with almost Yaphet Kotto-esque samples and quiet epic eruptions of noise interspersed in between. Hey “” it’s a good song! “” easily my favourite.
You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons”¦great name! They play more straightforward, garage-fuzzed-punk-rock, and as a result I feel they are the slightly less interesting of the two bands here. They do, however, get slightly more complex towards the end of the cd, especially in “red paint march’, which rocks out in ear-catching ways whilst holding onto that fuzzed guitar attack of theirs.
So neither of these bands are going to sit on the “constant playlist’ pile alongside cap’n jazz and sunny day, but neither did they bore me to death or make me want to break things in protest of their badness, meaning therefore I award this cd with a tentative thumbs-up for decent enough rock-age.