Friday, June 21, 2013

Band Review: This Way to the Egress

This Way to the Egress is a little-known band based out of Bethlehem, PA. Their genre? "Ole-Timey Roots, Gypsy-punk Cabaret".

Personal Experience: I had the pleasure of hearing Egress (as they will now be called for convenience) last Memorial Day weekend (2012) at the annual Dragon*Con. They had opened for (and continued to play with) Voltaire. At first glance when their drummer - Mathew Verderosa - (sporting a bone piercing seemingly through his nose) handed me a flyer, I was only mildly interested. In fact, the friendly drummer seemed to be the only interesting character.

I have never been happier to be proven so wrong about a band.

Their band was a motley crew of gypsy and slightly steampunk inspired fashion and, in truth, I was only attending their concert to see Voltaire. However, from the moment their lead vocalist, "Tyrant" Taylor Galassi, stepped foot on stage and began to sing, I was hooked.

Never before had I seen such a charismatic, and somewhat crazed and morbid, person before. Of course, I had seen people similar, but they lacked the magnetism that this man seemed to posses. Before I knew it, I was singing and dancing along with the crowd. The entire band seemed to have us under some sort of spell - and I can't say that I didn't enjoy myself thoroughly.

Ever since that fateful weekend, I've been following their news and performances online, just waiting for them to play a venue close enough.

Live Performance: Most artists are much better when not performing live; this can be attributed to a number of reasons - exhaustion, nerves, moronic sound technicians, human error... Egress didn't seem to have this problem. No matter what form you hear them in, they are always sure to please - hammering away at the keys, blaring their tuba and trombone, stomping around the stage, and just generally rocking it out without a care in the world. The most pleasing aspects of their live performances are their enthusiasm, their talented dancers - such as Rio (video below, forward to 4:08 - slightly mature content), their magnetic Tyrant, and their spunky piano/violin/vocalist - "Saddle" Sarah. Not to mention Mathew Verderosa, who can be seen wailing on the drums as if they had done him great personal injury in the video below (forward to 2:24).

The highlight? When Egress performed their rendition of "Jump in the Line". This song is not in the video below for obvious reasons - I was busy dancing. However, you can find a performance of it →HERE←

Music: What they bring to the table is certainly a unique blend. It's catchy, it's upbeat, it's morbid, and it's impossible not to move to. I'd never particularly enjoyed accordion before, but with Egress I can't seem to get enough. What's even more interesting are their uses of trombone and tuba, which give it the feeling of being in some sort of street carnival - and I mean this in the best possible way. Pair that with the pig-tailed "mandolin/banjotar" player, Jacklyn "the" Kidd, and you have a fascinating gang that's sure to live up to and exceed all expectations. All you need is a flask and a dancing partner.

Ninja Fish thinks this is great music to... dance in the street with. 
Rating: ½

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