Essick are an Australian duo that essentially remind me of a Victoria Sponge Cake: a safe option. Sounding a lot like Foals from the start of the album and gradually getting a bit more like Bloc Party, debut album ‘Atrium Atrium’ is incredibly easy listening.
Easy listening doesn’t sound so bad, but it has the ever-increasing risk of becoming boring. And that is the whole problem with this album. When listening to the first few tracks it becomes quite clear that the basic formula of them is pretty darn similar, with incredibly long, drawn-out openings. Maybe if they were more spread out they would be okay… but they’re not.
Repetition is definitely a strong theme throughout the album, which in most cases is a good idea. It lets the riffs, hooks and vocal patterns worm their way firmly into your head to make them the soundtrack to the next few hours of your life. But in this case it’s possible that the over-use of repetition comes off as a bit desperate, which is a shame as there are many points during this 11-track album that are incredibly promising.
‘Ghost Towns’ is a particular highlight, reasonably more upbeat than most of the other tracks on the album and the progression in the song is second to none. It compliments the repetition in the song, making it a lot more smoother than elsewhere on the album. Final song ‘Yakuza’ is pretty smooth, mixing it up a bit right at the end with extra sounds in the production, sure to grip your ears with intrigue that perhaps was missing in previous tracks.
It certainly feels like there’s a lot more to come from Essick. For instance the quality standard of sound, both in music and production, is excellent. They’ve definitely put a lot of work into those areas – and it’s paid off successfully. But they need to stop holding back and take some risks instead of sticking to a safe repetitive formula for most of their tracks.
The duo are definitely worth the attention of your ears, but perhaps not give this album too much of it, or at least not all in one go.
By Samantha Daly