Surrounded by the Great Nothing

April 2, 2020


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The Pitch: Chicago alternative rock and sludge group Escape Is Not Freedom are back with more 90's vibes on Surrounded By The Great Nothing. FFO: Helmet, Quicksand, Sonic Youth

What I Like: If you grew up in the hay day of alternative music and grunge like me, you should definitely aquaint yourself with Escape Is Not Freedom. There are so precious few legit "rock" bands around these days, and even fewer in this particular niche. We're talking pure bleak, aggressive noise transmitted directly from an angst-addled mind. As you can probably ascertain from the title, Surrounded By The Great Nothing is awash in suffocating negativity from the imposing, wailing chord progressions and rumbling bass to the miserable howls of the vocalist. There are a few moments of melodic reprieve with which to find solace, but expect them to be brief and still tainted with melancholy.

Critiques: Nearly an hour for this style is too long if you ask me. Getting these compositions to the 6-8 minute mark is a stretch and somewhat weakens their punch. I'm also not particularly fond of the clean singing parts.

The Verdict: Though a tad bloated in its length and sporting some imperfections, I'm always happy to share rock music that still has some bite. Escape Is Not Freedom is a faint beacon of hope that someday the days of alternative radio will return.

Flight's Fav's: Brick, Drinking Bleach, Slowly Falling Off A Cliff

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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