Endusk - .01

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Sidekick Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 33:32:00

The five-piece Sydney band Endusk has been playing the local circuit since 2000, supporting some of Australia's best-known alternative acts (including Regurgitator and The Butterfly Effect) with their unique style of dark prog rock. Now, in 2004, they are expanding their horizons - with performances outside Sydney, talks with an international label, and the local release of their debut EP .01.

Trying to compare this material to other bands is difficult. The closest I can get is to say it's a cross between the dark, semi-psychedelic prog rock of Porcupine Tree, and the female-led alternative rock of fellow Australians, Killing Heidi. An intriguing mix. They combine interesting songwriting with brooding, dusky emotion, the latter brought out beautifully by the superb vocals of Rachael Pale. Her whimsical, expressive voice is definitely one of the selling points for this group. Listen for the final track, "Ink," which contains some lovely vocal work - her achingly mournful tones are something special.

Endusk's sound on this EP is quite raw. I feel some things could be clearer, particularly the lower range guitars and bass, but overall this doesn't really detract from the music. Perhaps it could even be said to add to it, bringing an interesting contrast between the vocals - which are pure and clear as a bell - and the distortion on the instruments. Til this point, Endusk has been a purely live band; in some ways the unrefined quality of their music brings that "live" feeling to their studio work. The disc's presentation is also enhanced by the inclusion of a multimedia section, including a photo gallery and a movie reel showing footage of the EP's recording. This is a welcome touch.

As mentioned, the songwriting is quite innovative, though there are a couple of monotonous passages - for example a repeated vocal section in "Ecclesiastes" - which could be tightened. The instrumentation (Adrian Leighton on guitars, James McKenna on bass) is effective and well-used, with nothing unnecessary or pretentious on this album. It has a bare-bones feeling which is very immersive. I particularly like their use of drums (with an unusual two percussionists, Michael Noel and Preston Peachey), which varies between full-on to minimal, and often touched with a tribal edge - see "Hightide" for a good example of this. They have an excellent mix of intensities across tracks as well, with atmospheric, light acoustic, and heavier rock. By and large the mood is sorrowful, perhaps even a touch nostalgic.

This EP is by no means addictive but it's ... moreish. It's a true grower. Not one which grabbed me at first listen, it has a wonderfully subtle charm which has taken several listens to uncover. For those wanting a sneak preview, there are two songs - "Four" and "Moth" - available for download at their website. I am looking forward to seeing how Endusk's career develops as they create a name for themselves and hope to catch them live at some point soon.

Similar to: Porcupine Tree

[This review originally appeared May 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Four / Ecclesiasties / Moth / Omen / Hightide / Ink

Rachel Pale - voice
Preston Peachey - drums
Michael Noel - percussion
Adrian Leighton - guitars
James McKenna - bass

.01 (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin AU

Added: December 19th 2004
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Artist website: www.endusk.com
Hits: 1425
Language: english


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