Ease The Medic - Ease The Medic
Record Label - We Want Action
Release Date - February 7, 2012
Ease The Medic is a band that seems to be defined less by its influences and more by their execution of combining bits and pieces of things and making something both cohesive and engaging. While you might be able to pull a number of bands in a sound flanked many a time by fits of meticulous melodies and the occasional off-shoot rhythmic tangent, this self-titled album is surely a bit more of a grower than an immediate grab for your attention. In any case, the eight tracks of Ease The Medic repay you for your time with more than a handful of memorable cuts – hitting the mark in spurts during a journey as weaving through sonic output as it is in its execution.
I only say that because in the first time I listened to Ease The Medic, it was a bit difficult to grasp an overall way to think of this record. This lends itself more to the shifting ideas presented only three tracks in, but the mood of this record and its portrayal is easier to pinpoint as the record moves on. While opener “Antarctic Stare” seeps with off-kilter melodies in the form of massive guitars, “For Mother Russia” is a mostly stripped down number in comparison, showing little sonically in common with the former save for the guitar-slathered ending. But on its heels, “Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie Shelter” sounds much more in tune with Russia, sticking to a calculated, yet more much engaged articulation of guitar melodies instead of the barrage of chordage heard earlier. In an attack akin to perhaps a less jam-orientated Minus The Bear (“Indian Style”), the more than welcome application of whirring guitar lines and often spotlighted drumming make for this realm of Ease The Medic to be executed respectably – often finding a way to channel their influences without mimicking them to death.
But in the backend of this eight track collection, the band toys with their approach to the formula. “Engine Brake” is about as uptempo as we’ll hear this band, lingering in post-hardcore territory with an edge of lush guitars feathered with just enough distortion to make this ender stand out from the rest. The dismal middle section of the track is a revisit of sorts, pairing drawn out chords to slower drums for a bit of a breather in the proceedings. Backing up a track though, “Hansel and Greta Van” is the introduction to this grittier by comparison sound, with this number also tinged by many of the same sonic approaches of the closer. This track features arguably the strongest chorus of the bunch though, with strong vocals, interesting guitar licks and a wonderful melodic structure to boot.
The vocal approach of having three people adding a voice to this record makes for a mildly varying experience as well. On one side, it gives us plenty to hear from that department, whether it be the mid-range holds in the chorus of “Hansel and Greta Van” or the slightly droning melodies of “Antarctic Stare”. For the most part, whatever they are doing fits well enough, but very few times do these vocals stand out past the instrumentation behind it. The thing is, when these guys give the vocals a little bit more of a chance to shine (“Hansel and Greta Van”) as opposed to them sounding borderline flat, the entire vibe of the song is accentuated where stronger vocal lines might help a number of these tracks out in both memorability and first-impression attraction.
While immediate cohesiveness and impact might not be the forte of Ease The Medic, a repeated indulging will yield more to the ears than the off-putting sequencing or slightly psyched out sonic contributions of the first few tracks. Certainly not bad on their own, the core sound of this band lies later in the record, kicking into high gear a balance of crisp guitars that move with purpose and are on the cusp of infectiousness. Though there are some flaws to it, it is better to have not quite realized your potential than to have hit a wall and be unable to figure out what to do next – something Ease The Medic can take to heart for the next time they take to penning tracks.