Escalating Quickly

Ten Foot Pole

Thousand Islands Records, 2019


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


This is Ten Foot Pole’s first disc in nearly 15 years. After constant touring and plenty of lineup changes, frontman Dennis Jagard has had enough time to make some interesting music. Unfortunately, he falls short of the mark. Things begin perfectly fine; “Everything Dies” is a great blast of pop punk, just like the way I’ve always liked it. A song like this is what Blink-182 needed to do instead of relying on outside songwriters and keyboards.

Unfortunately, things fall apart rather quickly. “Don’t Be A Dick” comes across very cheesy, like The Dickies mixed with current day Weezer. “Numb” is an electronic styled track that doesn’t sit well with me. The lyrics are full of anarchy and rebellion, but the music sounds like a karaoke backing track for a kids party, full of sunshine, lollipops, unicorns, and rainbows. It’s quite different for all the wrong reasons and destined to throw many for a loop.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Long Night” sounds interesting but when listening really close, it almost feels like a Weird Al Yankovic style parody of punk rock. Dennis’ vocals just don’t fit the material and the guitarists are going for some Yngwie Malmsteen style guitar runs; I don’t know how to wrap my head around all this weirdo nonsense. Interestingly enough, to get this record done, Jagard relied on help from members of Zebrahead, Atreyu and Good Riddance, but it still doesn’t feel like enough to make this music sound real and alive. There are a few songs that really stand out, including “The Jackals,” which feels more like some of their better material. It has better music and vocals that actually fit and work. “Unbroken” is another great track, quick and full of attitude that this music really, truly deserves. It’s a damn shame the rest of the disc didn’t follow suit.

Some of the production techniques undertaken on this record leave a lot to be desired, featuring lots of fade outs and vocal effects and stuff that just doesn’t work for this type of music at all. “I Hate The Night” is a song I really hate. It’s like given some kids some keyboards and guitars and 20 minutes and told them to go write a song.

Overall, this record could’ve been much better had some time and consideration been taken towards the production and the music as a whole. Escalating Quickly is disappointing, one best left to be ignored.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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