Saturday, 9 January 2016

Album Review: Never Die by Escape Artists

Escape Artists are a five-piece, female-fronted pop punk band from Vienna - Austria. On the 23rd of January they have a new release titled Never Die coming out and I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy to review.

Before I start I should mention that this genre of pop punk is not a favourite of mine so Escape Artists might have a small battle to win me around! The opening track is called Rewind and begins with a simple drum beat and some upbeat sounding guitar chords that remind me of American teen music pop punk. Then the vocals hit and I'm hooked to the song. If anyone asks me who has the best female vocal in punk music I'll always answer Cat from Demon Smiles, but this comes very close. I'm also reminded of Tsunami Bomb, who were a great band. With these likenesses I'm sure this is going to be an album I'm definitely going to enjoy. The opening chords of the following track Next Generation really make me want to bang my head. This song goes along at a quicker pace that the first but maintains an excellent melodic quality. This is the first time on the album tha Escape Artists use a male screaming harmony as well. This adds a fantastic extra layer to the track and some great punk rock aggression. The beginning of song number three, My Safe, has a Millencolin skate punk feel before Pia's lovely pop vocal joins the fray. This song is a mid-tempo paced track that doesn't stray too far from what you would expect from the band after listening to the first couple of songs. I really enjoyed the section towards the end of the track where you think it's finished, the song fades out and then there is one final chorus to complete the song with a bang.

Letters From Above is the fourth song on Never Die and is the first time Escape Artists really slow things down. This is the kind of song I can see being really popular with younger fans of pop punk music, it's pleasant enough but not really for me. Make My Way starts with some great guitar work which you know is going to build into a big sound that's going to get you moving. There is a great sense of urgency in this song created musically and with the screams that appear in the chorus. There is a fun tempo shift in the middle of the song that stops it getting stagnant and allows the track to finish with a flurry. The penultimate song is named Highscore and is the most up-tempo on the record. On this song, Pia's vocals do a lot of work carrying the melody of the track and this makes it really stand out compared to the other songs on the record. I can see this being the song that really becomes the fan favourite. It's upbeat and catchy and has plenty of moments that will get a crowd singing and dancing; what you really want in a song really. The final song on Never Die is an acoustic track called Voices. It's a nice if not somewhat predictable way to finish things up. This really shows off the versatility in Pia's singing abilities. She is able to blast through some punk rock as well as showing a softer side to her style here.

Like I said earlier this style of punk isn't usually my cup of tea but there are definitely a lot of positives to the release. I can see this going down very well with a slightly younger audience as well as catching the attention of some older punk rockers.

Get more information on Escape Artists here: