We’ve been sitting on this record a ‘daze HQ for a little while enjoying it and now that it’s finally let loose in the wild, we figured it’s time to let you guys know what the fuss is all about. (Actually, Ruby is holding a gun to my head so that i get this out)… so, he says, she says: double take on The Amazing Insurance Salesmen’s first EP: Escape
Beijing Daze on Escape:
When this album landed on my lap, it was a mixed reaction between.. “cool, it’s finally recorded” and… “oh, I know all these songs”.It’s good songs from a good band and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Escape starts off much like any of AIS’ shows with Intro and that song in itself pretty much is a good representation of what you can expect from the CD or from their shows: It’s free flowing multi-layered jam inspired funkedelic blues.
The EP features only 5 other tracks, In The Park, Babies, I’d like to Love You, Escape and This Day with the latter being the weakest link on the record. In The Park comes off strong and authoritative if that can be said about a song. It literally commands your attention! Babies is a close second in terms of favorites where i really dig the vocals of Jean Sebastian, more so than on the other tracks.
Having seen the band play so many times, I expected that their live energy would be difficult to capture on simple audio track… These guy feed off each other’s energy to create a delicate balance between their respective non-compromising playing styles! The battle was half won.. it sounds superb but it doesn’t take me places visually, but then again, maybe i’m just smoking the wrong thing.
Still, this is one of the more exciting recordings to come out this year
p.s: I just read Ruby’s take… I like the AIS Lite description!
Ruby on Escape
First up – this review is of course totally biased as I am AIS’s biggest fan! I’ve had a copy of the new EP for a while and have been waiting, impatiently, to share it with everyone.
It starts in the same way as every AIS show, with Intro a crazy psychedelic rock instrumental piece that shows off the skills of all three members of the band. In the Park and Babies are up next – the two songs the band played for Global Battle of the Bands, from the heat in Beijing right through to the finals in Kuala Lumpar. I have to admit I actually don’t like the recorded version Babies because there’s this crazy effect coming from JS’s guitar that sounds like a frog which I don’t hear when they play it live! The two tracks that stand out the most on the EP for me are the title track Escape and This Day, both have Maikel’s bass turned up more than normal. I love the inclusion of ad lib’d vocals on This Day. I would have liked crowd favourite Going to War to be included over the renamed I Want To Love You which for me is the weakest track musically. And also missing is Caravan, the song that never seems to end, but always closes the show.
Recorded live by ‘daze HQ’s good friend Martin Rawlins, the album is true to the band’s always tighter than tight, yet so free it almost feels like a jam style. Most bands have one dominant member who leads the sound, but AIS combines a lead guitarist, lead bass and lead drummer each capable of taking control of the music, so finding a balance where each member gets their chance to show off is difficult. They do it live through extended solos, and have managed to achieve a great balance of sound on the EP that lets each member shine. At only 6 songs, it’s like AIS Lite, just a little taste of what makes this China’s best unsigned band, but enough to make you want to see the them live again, even if it is at 2Kolegas at 4.30am as the sun comes up outside.
Cool beans folks and congrats to Jean Sebastian, Maikel and Mao Mao. Get the EP from itunes or from CD Baby. Also catch AIS tonight, Friday June 10th at 2 Kolegas along with Candy Monster and The Ghost Spardac