As beautiful bursts of reverb-heavy psychedelic-hued cascades of shoegaze dream-pop in the vein of ‘Nowhere’-era Ride go, Escape II; by Melbourne-based Bloodhounds On My Trail is hard to beat.
‘Jolly’ may fail to live up to its title, but is a shimmering cascade of guitars which taper into diffusing contrails as the sound disperses to nothing is a glorious and elegant sunburst for the ears. Meanwhile, ‘Old Fools’ perfectly blends lead guitar lines that soar and chime in soft-focus against a heavy mesh of trebly overdriven noise, the vocals floating in the background and serving almost as another instrument as they drift in a cathedral of reverb.
The six-minute ‘She’s in My Plans’ is a beautifully dreamy meanderer which has an underlying emotional pull that’s hard to pinpoint and all the more powerful and emotive for it.
The Ummagma remix of ‘Jolly’ wraps things up nicely, the Cocteau Twins meets I Like Trains guitar chimes wrapped in layers of cotton wool and cloud-like synth.
Steeped in the 90s sound as it may be, but Escape II is a magnificently realised set, and features some outstandingly atmospheric songs that pitch the calm and the storm together in the most effortless fashion.