I love me some Dog Fashion Disco, okay? Jasan Stepp and crew (Including one of my all time favorite singers in Todd Smith) has been ripping it up for years across a plethora of projects which now includes In The Blind. Featuring an array of talent that features Stepp on guitar alongside former Nothingface bassist Bill Gaal, DFD’s John Ensminger behind the kit, and Megosh vocalist Josh Grosscup, debut record Evolve & Escape is unlike anything fans have heard from Stepp up to this point.
One of those out of left field records that’ll hit you like a ton of bricks, Evolve & Escape combines the frenetic intensity of each Every Time I Die album, the precision punch that The Shape Of Punk To Come brought to the table, and some mix of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Glassjaw’s frenzied intensity. Add a vocalist in Grosscup who can croon like Alien Ant Farm’s Dryden Mitchell or Coheed’s Claudio Sanchez one moment then turn up the viciousness a la Greg Puciato or Daryl Palumbo the next and you’ve got yourself one heavy as hell debut that’s sure to destroy any current “Best Of 2022” rankings you thought you had already figured out.
The title track is a glorious reckoning of a plethora of sounds and genres that’s dense and diabolical as it treads a fine line between Punk, Post-everything, straight up Metal, Thrash and whatever Dog Fashion Disco describe themselves as on a given day. Howzabout we just say it’s heavy and all over the place and leave it at that, okay? “K Is For Killer” is a blistering shredder that mixes Rawk and Metal with Stepp and Ensminger effortlessly synching up on the guitars and drums respectively while Grosscup gives just a small sample of the broad range about to be shown off throughout Evolve & Escape.
“Call of the Void” settles in with a nifty groove that’s bookended by an inherent sense of dread as abrupt sonic attacks leap at yer earholes much the way a jump scare works in a horror movie with “Dear Optimistic” going for the jugular with a rager that begins with a wall of gnarly riffage from Gaal and Stepp and Grosscup’s vox switching between vicious and vibrant especially during a chorus that practically vibrates.
“The Devil And I” is a mid-aughts Heavy Alternative throwback anthem with that Mitchell/AAF vocal vibe hanging around but in a decidedly darker setting, “Welcome To America” is anxiety-laden as Grosscup guides listeners into a maniacal musical masterpiece, and “Corpses & Queens” is kind of the one that just covers it all if you were looking for that “definitive” In The Blind sound. “Death’s White City” as an alternative goes hard amidst a buzzy beginning playing out like a sort of sonic schizophrenia with Grosscup playing the part of the untrustworthy narrator by virtually having a conversation with himself as he goes through a range of styles and then “Wolf in Disguise” sounds like some old school Dog Fashion Disco shit then truly goes off when Grosscup’s pipes pipe in.
“The Confessor” is, dare we say, kind of laid back with the confines of Evolve & Escape. But it works and really gives Grosscup, Stepp, Gaal, and Ensminger the chance to gel and let the song breathe before Stepp, ahem, steps up to give the In The Blind debut a fittingly glorious finish.
Evolve & Escape is out NOW through Razor To Wrist! You can get yours in a bevy of beautiful bundle options when you head here or head here to go straight for the digital downloads. For the latest from In The Blind, check out their socials by clicking here or here.