EP Review: ESA - Eat their young / The Scorn


Artwork editing - Olivia De Lame

Symbols of currency carved in to teeth, set amongst a wired shut and shattered jaw. The perfect metaphor for this EP.



There are some artists out there who you can never quantify.



The first time I saw ESA play live I was unaware of Jamie Blacker's Industrial power noise - Deus Ex Machina - that takes it's form in ESA.

I stood at the front of the Elektrowerkz stage eagerly waiting for Memmaker to play. Before that I was to be absolutely destroyed by Jamie's set, giving real vindication to the name of Electronic Substance Abuse because although I was sober at the time, (I had to drive home) I felt one of the most psychoactive intense moments I've been lucky enough to experience; The very reason for why people say music is what makes life worth living.

This was something different though, this wasn't great songs, and feel good rhythms, it was pure, unadulterated shock and chaos which antithetically can only come from the order of absolute order and skilfull perfection.


What do I mean by this?

What I experienced was a constant wall of power noise, of primal, soul crushing loops and beats. An overwhelming cacophony of aural assault that took control of me and made me rave until my legs were almost shattering and I had NO CONTROL over that.

This chaos of music had possessed me; However music can't just be thrown together to achieve these results. It takes the disciplined skill to put every single beat in it's correct place. Every single sound has to be uniformly ordered in it's chaos to bring about the sounds that have made Jamie the KING of electronic music.


All hail to the king.

That covers the chaos theory, now for the shock..

If the shock of losing control of my body and mind to that set wasn't enough, the violent and macabre images being played on the stage were equally shocking; so much so that a girl next to me went from dancing away happily to staring mouth agape and quite uncomfortable at the visuals.

Here there was a turning point. For me this seemed like a form of catharsis; of coming to terms with the darker side of life and instead how to stand against it and how to improve in all aspects of life. Sadly for the girl next to me it seemed the opposite was true, she wanted to hide from these realities and withdraw from not only what was uncomfortable to her, but also from herself. At least this is how it seemed as she backed out of the crowd.

ESA is the true primal music of the soul, not some £2.99 Chakra meditation CD in a bargain bin that people think is soul music.


That shock has never stopped, it has only taken different forms. With each release I have had to drag my jaw off of the floor time and again. From the overwhelming power of 'That Beast' to one of the most incredible album releases this year in the form of 'Burial 10', I continue to be shocked.

Now with the release of this EP, there is still no limit to the impressive talent once again thrown in our faces.


Having featured in the track 'You are safe here' on 'Burial 10', Caitlin Corlyx once again joins ESA for 'Eat their young'.

I have to say this is an absolute dream duo. Having seen them perform together at Static Darkness festival and now in this music video, I am still trying to crowbar my damn jaw off of the metaphorical floor at how well they compliment each others musical strengths.

I was lucky enough to hear the work in progress of this EP and give my opinion on which video should be done first and I am so glad it was indeed 'Eat their young.'

As I mentioned with turning points before, this release is also a turning point for Jamie. Would ESA be able to continue? Would anything be achievable again? Smashing himself out of that mindset, he filmed the video in Leeds city centre at 4am, Planted his flag at Castle Hill - Huddersfield, and had Caitlin join him in a studio with only 2 days notice (How wonderful of her!) and that is how we now have the majesty of this release. He reached that turning point and proved once again that he can keep going in the right direction and will be keeping that throne warm for a long time to come yet.

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Review



'Eat their young' is the personification of all the anger and resentment we feel at the world right now. With a hint of the Joker's approach to when people..

"Get what they f**ing deserve!"

Caitlin plays the protagonist, the capitalist who is corrupt, wasteful, uncaring and ugly yet beautiful in her sins.

Jamie plays the angry worker, the one society has stamped on, the one who will put an end to the corrupt rich.

In both aspects here.. Apex predators eat their young, be it their own (Caitlin) or the young of their rivals (Jamie).

Either way this track is furious. The bass never quite drops in the rave way you would hope for but that only adds layers to the frustration and anger pent up inside the message of this track. You won't get the release you want but you will damn well enjoy the fire and the flames the beat stokes within you.


'The scorn' however delivers the drop you need. It demands to be played louder and louder each time. Almost like a sentient track seeking to possess you as I previous mentioned ESA tracks seem want to do. The speech sample sits so well within the theme of the EP that it sets the track up before it's even got going. It is a real espresso shot of a track.

'It takes over' has to be my favourite on this EP. Not only does it have that signature ESA set of beats and loops but Jamie once again adds his vocals to a track, something I am so glad to see him doing more often with ESA in recent times as it adds that extra layer of class to the music. It brings you the dance, the aggression, the mindfulness, and then it hits you with a relaxing synthwave feel - Something very unexpected. Once the synths have relaxed you, you are free to float away with some incredibly impressive female opera that has been chopped up and backed with an ideal drum loop. I've not really the words to describe it but it is yet another way in which the music of ESA can take you on a psychoactive trip even whilst sober.

Moaan Exis' remix of 'Eat their young' rounds of this album like a neatly wrapped gift. It capitalises on Caitlin's parts of the song and presents a nice amalgamation of industrial influences in to one whilst still maintaining that undeniable ESA feel.


Tracklist:


Eat Their Young (feat Caitlin Corlyx)

The Scorn

It Takes Over

Eat Their Young (Moaan Exis Remix)


Conclusion:

Electronic substance abuse continues to push the boundaries of musical talent and the set level of the bar at the top. Although ESA is beginning to sound less niche and more accessible to wider audiences, this is by no means a bad thing. This is simply adding more land and followers to the 'kingdom' that Jamie has created, with Caitlin (and Corlyx) being a proud ally of that kingdom. Heres to hoping that ESA continue to impress us all and keep our jaws smashing through the floor for many years to come.

Scores:


Technicality: 9.5/10

Dance factor: 8.5/10

Energy: 9/10

Vocals: 9/10

Re-playability: 9/10

Overall score: 9 / 10


See also:


ESA- Burial 10 album review and interview - Here

Corlyx - Together apart album review - Here

ESA video interview - Here

Music streams with ESA + Corlyx - Here

ESA + Corlyx on the alternative directory - Here

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Check out the alternative directory for E-stores, online Goth goods, and new bands to discover.


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