Review: Ben Hosking
|Escape the Fate (ETF) just doesn’t know what they want to be. The Las Vegas quartet plays a very American, largely accessible rock/metal blend for the most part. Their tunes switch back and forth between swaggering mid-tempo rockers, unconvincing ballads and even more surprising and bewildering blasts of deep growled passages over menacing riffage.
So just what is it that ETF are trying to achieve? Their vocalist Craig Mabbitt is reminiscent of most of the emasculated faux-metal front men currently in circulation.
You know the kind: a little nasal and still awaiting puberty. This means that they’ll never be fully accepted by the metal or hardcore scenes. Their big choruses and pop sensibilities have helped them to win over 20 million MySpace page views and 400,000 friends; yet they’re far beyond the realms of Australian radio.
Perhaps their hard-edged image, contract to punk label Epitaph and random metal breakdowns are a means for the littlies and teeny metallers to rock out without getting destroyed by a circle pit at a Slayer concert. Either way, it’s an unusual mixed bag of styles that sit uncomfortably next to one another amidst a barrage of hair product, black leather and upbeat party riffs.
Regardless of their musical gender confusion, you can’t knock their work ethic, with three releases in six years; apparently to be backed up with another album before 2010 is finished. If given the chance, it’s possible that ETF will mature and develop a more cohesive musical voice. However right now, ‘This War is Ours’ sounds more like the four band members are fighting over which of their influences get to be on the record. It’s a little sad, as they are apparently proficient musicians capable of tight, cohesive structures and melody.
It’ll be interesting to see what their next release brings.