Therefore I Am – Escape EP
Release Date: November 15, 2007
Record Label: Unsigned
In these times where people are inundated with bands peddling their music, trying to get people to check them out, a lot of us look for ways to subdivide these advances into more manageable magnitudes. Depending on who you talk to, there are a few common ways of doing this – Band X is on such-and-such label, Band Y opened up for so-and-so on tour, and a few others. Another such method has actually worked quite well for yours truly, though: what producer a band works with. My infatuation with everything touched by Ed Rose got me into The Casket Lottery and The Kidcrash, following Matt Squire in his early days introduced me to Downtown Singapore, Brian McTernan with The Graduate, et cetera. And now, I think I can add Mike Poorman to that list of producers I will just trust by association. If his tenure in Hot Rod Circuit weren’t enough, he has since manned the board for efforts from Fly Upright Kite, The Coming Weak, Retrosleeper, and now, the blistering rock goodness that is Therefore I Am.
Sounding like a mix of modern rock’s better elements, Therefore I Am certainly waste no time making an impression. Their EP, Escape, crashes out of the gate with an urgency and passion all too uncommon these days. Frontman Alex Correia’s and guitarist Brian Marquis’ rough-around-the-edges deliveries are the perfect complement to the rest of the band’s driving riffs, well-executed bass lines, and stellar drumming. The end result is an air guitar, sing at the top of your lungs, drum on the steering wheel type of soundtrack. In short, the EP rocks. Hard. And while this is certainly true, it is some of the more subtle elements that make Escape just as noteworthy.
As mentioned, when Therefore I Am want to rock, they have absolutely no problem in achieving said goal. Whether it be in the soaring chorus of “The Publicist,” the balls-out punk energy of “You and No Other,” or the huge riffs of “Farewell, Via Park” and “I Get Nervous In Cars,” the results are all the same – an extremely gratifying adrenaline rush. But even in the midst of all their bombast, Therefore I Am still manages to apply dashes of restraint in just the right amounts. In the unexpectedly poignant “45 Miles” or the eerily ambient “Traces” it is apparent that the band is not just linear, but rather they branch out quite bravely within their songs and styles.
In addition to the sounds themselves, Therefore I Am manages to impress with some smatterings of lyrical flourish as well. For example, the haunting segue of “Traces” recites:
"My will is an ambulance on emergency call."
All I want to do is leave this little city thats closing on me.
I shift left, I shift right and in the restless night
I lay like a leopard, left to rot, knowing I will never shed these spots.
Not bad at all for a post-hardcore group of youngsters from Boston. Overall, the lyrics range from decent to impressive across the EP, with some moments coming across as slightly generic, while others are definitely quote-worthy.
In the end, Therefore I Am’s Escape EP is one hell of an entrance onto the national scene, made all the more impressive that a band like this could be unsigned. Whether they are rocking out in pure moshing glory, or waxing sensitive on wistful, pensive numbers, the band has a strong sound that could easily resonate with a large set of listeners in the scene. As icing on the cake here, Poorman’s production on Escape is top notch, and should lead many east-coast bands to look him up, begging for some studio time. If other end products come out sounding as good as this, he should be a very busy man in the coming months.
This band is long overdue for some label attention. Or maybe they are just smart and aren't trying to sign to the first thing that comes along. Great band and I'm looking forward to whats next for them.