I have spent my last few years trying to dissect New York City. And while I was learning that a train schedule isn’t as accurate as it ought to be, I was engulfed in the music culture that the city is notoriously known for. The sheer amount of bands that come out of New York is incredible, so massive that there are hundreds of venues to house and nurture them. And out of all the underground venues and bands that have made up our unique music culture, it holds that familiar city feel. New York is grungy, rebellious, and an intelligent mind of its own.
I wouldn’t trade my home for anywhere else, but like so many quarter-century beings, I’ve had those East to West coast feelings. What is music like in a place where the sun shines more than Rockefeller’s Christmas tree, where shoes are optional, and surfing is more common than sledding? I imagine it’s exactly how The Great Escape feels like. Was their name intentional?
The trio, formed in LA, features incredibly talented artists. The self-produced band is made of Malte Hagemeister playing the guitar, Kristian Nord on drums, and Amie Miriello as their strong female songstress.
Amie has a colossal voice that makes unpolished vocals sound badass. She can go perfectly along with the album’s varied themed tracks. “The Secret Song” is definitely one of the more soothing tracks with a small country feel, her voice honeyed. Then she can take on a 1930’s swing club with “I Want It All.” “We play with fire ‘cuz we can take the heat,” she softly croons. Amie sounds sultry whether with a horn section or raucous for Malte’s wigging and Kristian’s goddamn feels for percussion. She harmoniously belts in “It’s Getting Better” against power-driven guitars and punchy drumming. And my favorite song on the album, “Put It On Ice” effects sound like an early Flea bass solo. The track that really made me feel the excitement of heading to California was “Let’s Go.” The beginning starts off with a calming ambience, the realization that you’re leaving- but then jump-starts into what could be my packing then driving through the countryside montage music.
Now, I’m not trying to start the cheesy ‘pack-your-bags-going-to-Cali’ gig, but their debut self-titled album literally makes me feel like it. Listening gave me the confidence in seeking those sun-showers you hear so much about in the West coast. Their style is ambitious, but genuinely so. Every song is a completely raw look into what rock was like before bands just wanted to sell records, and look too cool while doing it. While they remind me of similar styles to the likes of The Black Keys and Janis Joplin, they’ve created a new style I haven’t seen on the current music grid- combining the classic sounds with contemporary flair.
Not to be mistaken for Iggy Azalea’s “The Great Escape Tour,” the LA triad have many outlets to reach out. Maybe we can get them to come to New York. We could probably also see their eyes open, unlike all their press-released photos. More importantly, we could show them what we’re made of.
The album is a half century packed into a 33 minute digital download. You also can stream their complete album below.
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