Ten Foot Pole

Escalating Quickly

Written by: PP on 27/10/2019 21:55:28

Ten Foot Pole! Now that's a punk rock name few of us expected to see again in recorded format. A cult band during the 90s, their last record "Subliminal Messages" was released back in 2004, making their seventh album "Escalating Quickly" their first one in 15 years (excluding the best-of album "Setlist" from two years ago). If you're like me, that's long enough to have almost forgotten how they used to sound like, but I'm fairly sure it was more like skate punk with nods towards technical punk and ska in the process, and less like the pop punk on this album.

Indeed, "Escalating Quickly" dives headfirst into the world of light, upbeat pop punk on tracks like "Don't Be A Dick" or "Numb". We're talking more Masked Intruder territory and less Pulley like it used to be. It's not until "Forever Road" where we find the first nods towards melancholic skate punk - and even here we are in Millencolin territory rather than the technical skate punk of yesteryear. At the same time, the production is extremely polished and clean, ironing out any edge from the otherwise technical, screeching guitar solos that race across the soundscape in most songs.

"Long Night", a NOFX-esque ripper is the first track where a rawer and a more traditional punk approach is displayed, but here too the chorus is rather sugarcoated and sparkly, even if the soothing bass-lines do well in the background.

Sure, most tracks are fairly upbeat (except for maybe "Victim Of Humility" and a couple of others), splattered with lots of light keyboard and catchy pop punk choruses, with a few exceptional ones in between like the social commentary in "Jackals". But prolonged repeat listens to "Escalating Quickly" do not produce a particularly memorable listening experience. The songs are too safe and overproduced to oblivion, hiding the raw energy and sublime technicals that the band was known for during the 90s. It's an album that's merely decent, but rarely much better than that.

Download: Long Night, Don't Be A Dick, Numb, Jackals
For the fans of: Masked Intruder, Millencolin
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.09.2019
Dennis Jagard / Thousand Island Records

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