The Escape Engine - Celebrity Role Model (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Escape Engine

Celebrity Role Model (2003)


This is really dull. I wouldn't recommend listening to this album in the car, lest you fall asleep at the wheel and drive into a tree. I swear I've heard this band before, and yet this is the first material of theirs that I've heard. In short, they sound like every other nu-emo band (yes, I said nu-emo, and there's nothing you can do about it).

Perhaps this record would've been better with different vocals. The singing on here so incessantly whiney that I was expecting the songs to stop to allow the singer to take a much needed cry break. I knew this was going to be an adventure from the moment I heard the overly melodramatic intro clip, but unlike those cool "pick your own adventure" books you read when you were a kid, no ending could really satisfy me, they all led to the same place. But wait! What's this? The band decides to mix things up a bit, and can you guess what they do? If said you said "they probably add some terribly out of place screaming" make yourself a nice bowl of ice cream, with sprinkles. They did add some electronics to the song "Transparent", and it actually ends up being the most interesting track on the album. Unfortunately, it's only about a minute long. It is followed by the lackluster "Weapon of Choice" which is sadly lacking in the "Dancing Christopher Walken" department.

The guitar playing is above average at times, but that can't save an otherwise bad album from becoming just another shipwreck in the sea of mediocrity that is this genre. One the things that really bugs me is that whenever they seem to find an good riff, the song slows down and the riff is never heard from again. It's almost as if they were trying to make this album as plain and uninteresting as possible. The lyrics are typical for this style: "riding on the coattails of agony, and careful not to miss a beat, automated exit of your mistletoe deceit." I guess they thought people would mistake vagueness for profundity, no such luck, try harder next time.

The press release that accompanied this album predicted that this band is going to be bigger than Taking Back Sunday. Maybe they will be, maybe that's all this band is after. I'd set my goals a little higher and try to top a good band, but hey, that's why I'm not in the record business. I'm sure this will sell quite well and this band will develop a loyal following that calls them "the voice of a generation" and hails this as "the best album of the year!" But don't lose any sleep over that, because they'll grow out of it. This band is made up of competent musicians who could play good music; unfortunately, they're satisfied with putting out material like this.