Schneider, Paul - 2003 Escape Velocity

ARTIST: Schneider, Paul
ALBUM: Escape Velocity
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2003

LINEUP: Paul Schneider - vocals, all instruments

TRACK LISTING: Event Horizon (Pulls A Body) * 02 Where Are You Now? * 03 Echo Of Your Heart * 04 Heaven In Hand * 05 Don't Walk Around * 06 Tourniquet * 07 Later Date * 08 Waiting * 09 Feed * 10 Just Enough * 11 Man * 12 I Remember You


Paul Schneider's bio is an all-too-familiar one. Indie band Rivington gets signed to a major label, records album, 'corporate restructuring' plunges the band into major-label hell and delays the release of the album and finally, the frustrated band part ways.

It's an identikit story heard a million times before in one seriously screwed up music industry, but thankfully, there's nothing identikit about Schneider's debut solo album following Rivington's demise.

'Escape Velocity' is a complex album that restores faith in music and adheres to the facts that major labels aren't necessary to create exciting new music, getting dropped doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road, and not getting signed needn't be such a Holy Grail.

Schneider has realised this, and channelled his talents into creating a truly diverse, spirited and affecting album. It's often dark, moody and left-of-center, but the pop edge of the tunes means they are never anything less than captivating.

The Songs

Take opener 'Event Horizon', for example. With an electronica backbeat, acoustic riff and simple, but excellent melody line, it's a start that warrants further investigation of what follows.

'Where Are You Now?' develops from a sombre opening into a heartfelt tribute with a wonderful chorus: 'Where are you now?/There you are in the stars/So far', and closing track 'I Remember You' is a similarly wistful tale but with that by-now-familiar Schneider badge of quality.

'Echo Of Your Heart' picks up the pace in style and 'Heaven In Hand' has a really restrained, edgy vibe about it, while my stand-out track, the beautiful 'Tourniquet' has a laid-back country feel to it and proves Schneider knows just when to mix things up.

Less immediate tracks such as 'Later Date' draw you in on repeated listens and like the rest of the album, reveal hidden treasures.

In Summary

'Escape Velocity' is another strikingly good independent release. To appreciate it to the max, just dim the lights, open your mind and put some headphones on. Rivington's story may not make pleasant reading, but 'Escape Velocity' is a real happy ending to it.

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