Esper Scout - Compass

by Andy Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2017-05-18

I’ll start with something of a confession; I’ve only seen Esper Scout live on one solitary occasion, a New Year’s Eve party at the Brudenell Social Club. The band were providing some all-female QOTSA covers and doing a damn fine job of delivering some of Josh Homme's greatest hits. Obviously, this one-off performance only hinted at what a great band they were.

I’ve clearly been completely out-of-the-loop on this one as the band can count The Cribs and The Wytches amongst their touring partners and say that they’ve supported the legendary Shonen Knife. Seriously, how have I lived in Leeds and still somehow managed to miss all of this?

Having covered the likes of Gang of Four and Delta 5 you would perhaps expect something leaning towards the lo-fi end of the rock spectrum yet their latest single is anything but. Starting with a dense wall-of-guitars, ‘Compass’ is a bold and unashamedly huge slice of alt-rock. The drums are thunderous, the guitars loud and purposeful. This is the sound of a band in their prime; focussed, confident and ready to take on the world.

Sarah Statham’s searching vocals and somewhat cryptic lyricism recalls Idlewild, the heavy yet philosophical vibes bringing the less shouty moments of 100 Broken Windows to mind. Overall, it’s a pretty exciting listen and it’s hard not to wonder what a full album of Esper Scout material might entail. If ,like me, you’re a little late to the party then ‘Compass’ provides the perfect excuse to catch up with one of West Yorkshires finest acts.

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