Escape Pod - Losing Control [Dead Digital 2003] - Cat# DD04
I picked up this little slice of greatness thanks to it getting a tip top review by those good types over at Norman Records in Leeds. The sleeve is nice sturdy card (not quite as thick as a 60's DOT LP, but not as flimsy as a 80's Sarah paper wraparound either), it even has an inner bag (nice touch).
The song itself is a wonderful slice of The Beta Band meets The Beach Boys by way of Twisted Nerve. Which is fitting since it was released during the lull between the Beta's Hot Shots II and Heroes to Zeroes. Great harmonies, gurgling electronics, acoustic guitars and the DJ's enemy a sudden pause, make this one of those singles that reveals itself more and more with each listen.
Losing Control builds and builds over it's four minute running time from a basic drum machine pattern with acoustic guitar plucks, to a full on everything but the kitchen sink type affair, before suddenly ending (very suddenly mind you). That it manages this without sounding cluttered is one of the things I adore about it. The vocals are very Steve Mason with what sounds like a bit of added backwards reverb, while the backing vocals alternate between sounding like a budget Mellotron on choir setting, and groggy yodel.
Since the first time I slapped this on the turntable it's been a favourite, yet I've never met another soul who even knows the band let alone anything by them. This was their second single, and they only managed one more before going the way of so many bands before them. I've never been able to find anything out about them either, despite writing to their Manchester based label (twice). Oh in case you're wondering the flip side (Change of Pace) is okay, but not a patch on it's big brother. This can be picked up for pennies on E-Bay too.