It’s a shame that Bloodhounds On My Trail released their latest EP, Escape II, at the end of November, at a time when many sites and blogs were creating their “best of” lists. As such, this great album likely will be overlooked, but it shouldn’t. Throughout the five original songs plus the bonus remix by Ummagma, Escape II stuns and mesmerizes. What Bloodhounds On My Trail have achieved with the EP is simply extraordinary and dazzling. The shoegaze is both breathtaking and mind-blowingly beautiful, music that would make shoegaze purveyors Slowdrive immensely proud.
The opening track, “Dreamless”, reels you in immediately with its atmospheric brilliance. It is, however, only the appetizer, as the brilliant and memorable “Jolly” follows. The song a candidate for being one of the best songs of the year, as the Melbourne-based band have created a track that has the rare characteristics of being cathartic yet transporting one into a dream-like state.
“Old Fools” in its own right is stellar. The edgiest and most rock-oriented song, the collision of cascading guitars and the pulsating rhythms during the song’s climax is remarkable. My Bloody Valentine eat your heart out. “Silence, It’s Golden” doesn’t have the emotional punch of the previous tracks, but the melodic tone offers a reprieve from the roller coaster heard in the album’s first 15 minutes. The ride picks up with the spatial solitudes of the album’s finale, “She’s In My Plans”. Like a dream where one is chasing after his love, the song erupts in a wave of emotions that is fed by an unrelenting stream of crystalline guitars.
Escape II is terrific. Whether it receives the attention it deserves as one of the year’s best extended players remains to be seen, but it is at the very least an album that must be heard, especially if you’re a shoegaze fan.
Bloodhounds On My Trail are Johnny Green (guitar, vocals); Chris Donaldson (guitar); Nik Donaldson (drums); and Ché Walden (bass).
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