I genuinely love when the hype is real.
Relatively young in the Cincinnati music scene, Saving Escape sound like a band that have been at it for much longer than their bio insists. Founded in 2014, vocalist Kala Rose, guitarists Jacob Boldman and Ben Swift, bassist Charlotte Graham, and drummer Alex Muccino cut their teeth and honed their craft with the O’Keefe Music Foundation, producing and performing music together.
With that foundation, both literal and figurative, the band started out with covers (as many do), but quickly moved on to creating original music. Channeling classic Aerosmith and other blues influenced 70’s rock, as well as (to these ears) progressive rock outfit The Dear Hunter and off-center heavy rockers Clutch, Saving Escape somehow blend some fairly disparate elements into something that’s uniquely soulful and kind of raucous at the same time.
Their most recent effort, the appropriately named Old Soul EP,is bursting at the seams with elements of all the influences mentioned above - just… more and somehow bigger. Rose’s vocals are powerful without being over the top, with enough chunky blues riffs mixed with a propulsive rhythm to let this sit more firmly on the “rock” side of the blues rock realm. Thankfully, the guitar work isn’t overbearing and doesn’t lean too heavily on solos. Frankly, the 5 songs on the Old Soul EPdo exactly what they should - lay out a sort of modus operandi for a band that’s finding its footing but has a course fairly well plotted out. They’re young, but not naive. So long as they don’t get stuck in the performative aspect of being in a band and focus instead on sincere performance on and off record, they should have a long and healthy career ahead of them.
On Saturday, January 19, they take the stage at Bogarts with Liberty Deep Down, Bare Fuzz, and The Vatics in celebration of the release of their Old Soul EP. With such a strong EP, they have every reason to celebrate.