Artist: This Way to the Egress
CD: "This Delicious Cabaret"
Label: Self Released
Every once-in-awhile a CD comes along and reminds me exactly why we started Sepiachord and why we keep it going.
Why we get up in middle of the night to check email, why we get up early to write music reviews, why we take vacation days to keep up with everything.
Of course it's hard *NOT* to rave about a CD that reminds me why we do Sepachord...
so this is where I RAVE about This Way to the Egress' debut CD "This Delicious Cabaret".
"This Delicious Cabaret" is the debut album from the Pennsylvania band This Way to the Egress but you wouldn't know it from confidence and skill that comes popping out of the stereo speakers when you slide in this electric and eclectic collection of songs.
The eleven tunes found on this self-released and self-produced CD are everything I love about modern cabaret. The sound here is macabre, not melancholy. This Way to the Egress pumps energy that a ska band would be proud of into songs seamlessly composed of jazz, blues, vaudeville, klezmer, incandescent circus sounds and the occasional hints of pirate attitude and an honest-to-PT Barnum-punk spitfire piss & vinegar sensibility.
What sets This Way to the Egress apart from other bands is how skillfully they pull this all off. The songs sound complete and fully composed, not ramshackle arrangements where it feels as if the band bolted a couple of genres together and said "hey look how new this is".
The songs are less like a cobbled together old jalopy and more akin to a beautiful, brassy victorian rocketship: perhaps it shouldn't be able to fly but when it does it's a breath-taking thing.
There was a time when albums were judged by how many songs were strong enough to be released as singles. Those days are dust so I judge the quality of a song on how driven I am to immediately leap over to the stereo and replay a song (again and again).
Using that guideline there are 8 (!) out of 11 tracks that knock me on my keister:
"Turpentine", "Chapel Hill", "On a 45", "Flirtin' With Death", "Gypsy Shoe", "We'll All Be Dead Soon", "Delicious Cabaret".
Of these "On a 45" and "We'll All Be Dead Soon" are just *outstanding*.
Yes, Highly Recommended.
Anyway I cut it "This Delicious Cabaret" by This Way to the Egress is stellar piece of work.
And the photos on the album cover manage to make me smile every time I pick it up.