Saturday, April 5, 2008

Your new guilty pleasure

I could not resist the temptation to write a blog about post-hardcore band Escape The Fate. Despite their reputation of being a scene band manufactured by a major record label in an effort to target the 13-year olds niche (which is a very shrewd move knowing the profitability of such an extensive market, and trust me I'm a Business student, majoring in Finance on top of that, so I should know), it is actually a glorious band. Now, the origins of the Las Vegas band are somewhat shady as frontman Ronnie Radke himself claims, in an interview with Buzznet: "We're all friends, it's not like I met these guys on the Internet", contradicting various online sources stating that he and bassist Max Green formed the band through Myspace. But this is not the point of this post, which is actually to celebrate this band's prodigiousness.

I discovered Escape The Fate in the summer of 2006, through the Unsound Vol. 1 compilation (which replaced Epitaph's Punk-O-Rama series) that my brother had randomly bought and soon discarded for being "full of emo shit" as he elegantly put it. I enjoyed the lewd anthem that was "Situations" but didn't try to research further on the band as I couldn't shake the feeling that it was somewhat of a fake scene band. It had it all, the whiny singer who squeals at the end of each line, the drop-D distorted guitars, the hardcore riffs, the overly sexual and outrageous lyrics "I touched her ooh. She touched my aah" coupled with the "A certain girl she took my hand and ran it up her thigh, she licked her lips and pulled my hair" so reminiscent of the infamous "Can I touch your legs? Do I make you sweat?" repeated over the breakdown of Kiss Me I'm Contagious by From First to Last (another scene band for future reference).

I guarantee that upon your first few listens of their first full-length Dying is Your Latest Fashion (2006, Epitaph) you'll start hardcore dancing and singing on the top of your lungs faster than it takes to say "I secretly approve of the anti-emo riots in Mexico". The Guillotine and There's No Sympathy For the Dead will make you feel badass and ready to start a fight while songs like Situations, Friends and Alibis and the catchy Not Good Enough For Truth in Cliché will make you dance.

However, Cellar Door and My Apocalypse, to an even greater extent, are arguably the true masterpieces of this album. The former soars with the sheer beauty of Radke's macabre and disturbing imagery while the latter contains all the elements that make Escape The Fate so brilliant: slasher-movie inspired metaphors ("There's a man with an axe, standing in the rain, looked me straight in the eyes"), dual guitars, technical riffs and sick metal solos.

The lyrics of the album shine particularly due to their metaphorical quality. Nevertheless, they fall flat and sound ridiculously phony when they become literal in the appropriatedly ridiculously-named The Day I Left the Womb. In spite of that, Dying is Your Latest Fashion really hits home with its swirling screamed canons, infectious chorus and death metal licks.

Escape The Fate reminded me of why I suddenly started to like rock and roll as a kid and why I picked up the guitar in my teens. Their raw energy and their spontaneity is really communicative and exciting. And admit it, you find them sexy, all dressed up like Motley Crue, there's nothing wrong with that.

In addition, despite their cocky demeanour, they are actually one of the most down-to-earth band out there. Sure, they play post-hardcore and dress like a heavy metal band, but they are a light-years away from some cocky shitty-ass unoriginal bands. The founders of the band, Radke and Green, especially stand out due to their colorful personalities. Radke is known for his stage antics and boldness, while Green is arrogant and insolent like no other.

Unfortunately, the charismatic frontman was forced to leave the band in 2007 as he faced charges for his involvement in a fight that took place in May 2006. He was replaced by ex-Blessthefall (don't ask, it's a crap band) Craig Mabitt but he will be sincerely missed.

Put in a nutshell, you should definitely check out Escape The Fate, you'll have a blast, I can bet my money on that. Peace and be safe!

No comments: