ESCATONES, THE: Slow Down Jackson: 2 x LP

They could’ve edited this down to a single LP, but I’m glad they didn’t. Even the slight misses on this collection are little gifts or buffers or something. It works as a whole, and it shows courage to put out something this huge. And it’s late ‘80s, early ‘90s-style jangly power pop but with a Southern lilt to it, and I keep picturing them on a bill with The Clean (Vehicle-era and onward), The Replacements (Tim-era), Robyn Hitchcock, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, maybe fIREHOSE or Uncle Tupelo. Feels rootsy and modest and smart and fun, like they’re your friends and you’ll go see them every chance you get. And then there’s the presentation. Stark illustration on the front, basic minimal info on the back cover, and no label mentioned. So it’s private press Southern jangle. Also, they put sides A and D on one record, and sides B and C on the other. They know what’s up. 

 –Matt Werts (Self-released)