By AJ Phink
Chicago’s Escape Is Not Freedom are set to release their debut full length, Goldsmith, on February 24th, they are a band that combine sludge, metal and noise rock to make an intense, discordant and fuzzy soundtrack. The Illinois trio’s debut album follows on from their 2015 EP, The Truants, and it feels like a logical follow up, however, on their previous release the sound was more refined and precise, for Escape Is Not Freedom the rough edges are firmly in place, for me this gives the album a darker and rawer feel than it’s predecessor, and it’s an approach that better suits their dark hybrid of styles.
Goldsmith opens with the intense fuzz driven riff of Coriander, this is a dark primal number that recalls the heavier end of punk, grunge and alt rock, Annul switches the pace, but not the intensity, this is accompanied by a haunting female vocal that contrasts with the gruff delivery of the opening track. Night Light‘s remorseless bass grind signals that a downbeat heavier element is being bought into the mix, an element that continues through the short but sweet dose of Morphine that follows it. The track Sodium signals another shift, this time into a discordant post punk delivery before we hit the anguished Dispossessed, this is a number that signals a return to a melodic vocal delivery that is juxtaposed against an intense riff. The album continues to vary it’s intensity, delivery and melody across the ten tracks, until you get to album’s finale, the dark, disturbing, extended, and appropriately named, Migraine.
Goldsmith is an album that resembles a collision between The Melvins, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Killing Joke, this results in an album of extended hazy riffs that are relentlessly delivered in a discordant and fuzz drenched style. In case you hadn’t guessed this is by no means an easy listen, it is a remorseless dark and heavy album that is born of the suspiciously hazy origins of sludge and stoner rock, but the fact that this is coupled with elements of metal and noise rock, that inject a dose of adrenalin into the album, prevent it from being an album that gets mired in it’s own heady sludge. Goldsmith is an impressive self released album that will be available via Escape Is Not Freedom‘s Bandcamp, and it’s one that is worth investigating if you’re tastes lie towards the heavier end of the alternative spectrum.
Goldsmith will be released tomorrow, February 24th, and can be ordered here
Escape Is Not Freedom‘s Facebook presence can be found here