Bloodhounds On My Trail – Escape II

Escape II cover artwork

Bloodhounds On My Trail – Escape II

Is it ‘ii’ or ‘II’ or actually the number 2, or do the symbols that are part of the title of this EP (or mini-album) contain some other hidden meanings? Perhaps they do. The first release from this Australian quartet certainly contains more than is obvious at a first listen, aside from the layered guitars and purposeful rhythms that are present on each of the six tracks on Escape II. Whether the Melbourne band want to confuse listeners as to how many EPs they’ve actually released is another issue, although after hearing this offering you would probably decide that more isn’t less from a band whose music veers towards the post-rock side of the dreampop category.

Beginning with “Dreamless”, BOMT make a textured and tuneful sound, dropping musical influences with unabashed enthusiasm as they do so. There are nods towards Chapterhouse, Ride, The Stone Roses and the guitars of Robin Guthrie at various moments throughout the six tracks that make up Escape II, although BOMT are quality songwriters in their own field. Whilst they pretty much nail the classic, expansive shoegaze sound without audibly breaking into a sweat, the question for BOMT is, as it is for any other new band making music that somewhere relies on those late ’80s influences is, can they do something with it that’s completely their own? “Old Fools” takes things some way towards that, a tightly-paced epic of a track that’s a well-written song away from the trademark echoing guitars and mid-speed drumming. As the song stretches over four minutes, the repetition of a guitar line, adds a gravitas to an already inspired sounding number and it’s this practised confidence that enables BOMT to retain a grasp of their songs and instrumental ambition.

Second track ‘Jolly’ appears in two forms, first as entirely BOMT’s song and again as remixed by Ummagma, and while the addition of some finely-tuned electronica brings an added depth to the track, in its original form it’s a more than convincing performance and one that displays exactly where the post-rock element of the band’s sound bolsters their songwriting, in the timings and the emphasis on stretching an instrumental moment just as far as it can go. For a first release, Escape II is an inspired and occasionally dazzling song collection, whatever those ‘ii’ symbols actually represent.

Raphalite Records