More and more screamo/metalcore bands are becoming the cartoonish ’80s hesher heroes depicted on their ironically hip retro t-shirts. Fists-aloft choruses; widdly guitars; increasingly, err, "involved" haircuts; dog-tags, studs and eyeliner are turning these time-traveling genre benders into the Guns N’ Roses of Generation X-Box (are your pierced ears burning, Avenged Sevenfold?)
Escape The Fate, from the suddenly vibrant Las Vegas scene that also brought us Panic! At The Disco and The Killers, is the latest post hard-core band being groomed (literally) for G N’ R-style arena-filling ubiquity. Yet there are shards of musical merit amongst ETF’s herd-following formula: frontman Ronnie Radke (who was temporarily booted from the band ‘cos of "personal problems" just as debut full-length, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, hit shelves last fall) effectively delivers the genre-mandated singing/screeching/deathly gurgling schizophrenia, while his similarly shaggy bandmates furiously burrow through peaks and troughs of carefully choreographed, emo-tinted metallic mayhem and chorus-capping backing vox.
Escape The Fate produce easy-to-swallow anthems that both borrow from and straddle rock’s generations, plus they’re pretty/trendy enough to have the gals perspiring and the boys aspiring. Their look and sound reek of manufacture (it’s no coincidence that this Glass House gig is the opening night of a tour sponsored by rebellion-by-numbers clothing chain Hot Topic) and ETF’s famously frenetic live show is not one you’ll be boasting about attending in five years time–but there’ll be few better excuses to gel yer locks and expose yer tatts in the area tonight. (Paul Rogers)
Escape the Fate at Pomona Glass House, Sept 13. Doors at 7pm; tickets $12