The Escape Frame – Self-Titled Album Review

For fans of synthy pop-punk, The Escape Frame is immediately likeable. For me, the aforementioned subgenre is only likeable in small doses. Strangely, however, something about The Escape Frame rubbed me the right way right off the bat. Their sound is admittedly at times rudimentary, but it’s pleasurable in exactly a non-threatening way. Their vocals are soothingly colorful, and their sounds are absolutely enrapturing. In fact, I found myself listening to it dozens of times in a row without ever really growing tired of it.

But after the album played through over and over again, I came to a bizarre realization: the reason I can endlessly listen to The Escape Frame is because, while their music is solid — and much better than that of most of their competition, it is solid in a vapid way.

Ultimately, their hooks and melodies are only memorable for the short time after listening to their music. After numerous days, however, but the album somehow magically disappears from memory, with even fifty logged play-throughs doing very little to spurn at-home sing-a-long sessions.

It’s a strange predicament, really, and it raises questions. Perhaps The Escape Frame’s problem of being enjoyable but unmemorable can be remedied with the representation of emotions other than “happy-go-lucky,” even if that’s obviously what they excel at. The Escape Frame simply seems like they could handle more than fitting into one pop mold, and hopefully, they’ll be able to reach the full potential of what they really can be.

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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