Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Escape Directors "Ladders"

The Escape Directors have an indie-vibe like Death Cab For Cutie throughout their songwriting, but their sound leans more towards the commercial feel of The Fray. It is a combination that should appeal to a wide audience, pleasing fans of independent and popular music alike. Escape Directors consists of Steve Carter (vocals, guitars, piano), Colin Rieser (drums, vocals), Nick Wilson (piano, keyboards, guitars, vocals), and Andrew Magrini (bass).

The new CD is "Ladders", and it is a short and sweet 9-song affair lasting a little more than a half hour. But within those thirty minutes or so, "Ladders" climbs to great heights and showcases a band of considerable talent that has the ability to produce a very slick record with a contemporary sound. There is a boatload of talent in this band and the songs contain layers of acoustic and electric guitars, piano and keyboards, and stirring strings. The songs were more attractive on the second spin as the hooks started to sink in, but among the more instantly memorable were the driving opener "Car Crash", the powerful, angst-ridden "Honest Man", and the mid-tempo ballad "Fall Together". And while I am glad the CD is not too ballad heavy, the Escape Directors have excellent instincts here, the best example being "When You're Gone", a very moving piece that features one of the most stunning vocal performances on the record.

With "Ladders", these boys from New Jersey calling themselves the Escape Directors prove that they mean business, and make an impressive addition to modern pop rock.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 5

Escape Directors on MySpace. Official site.

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