At the end of a live set by The Exit Strategy - a four-man gang of demolition experts doubling as a post-punk band from Buffalo - people pick themselves up out of the dusty rubble covering the floor. Others are peeled off the club's back wall where they were blown by the aural display of sheer strength and sustained intensity they just witnessed. It's a mixture of disbelief and respect that sends people out the door slowly shaking their heads from side to side. The Exit Strategy is so in command of the chaos they play with. To a band like The Exit Strategy there is no division between playing rock music and stressing everything - their instruments, themselves, traditional song structure - until it nearly breaks apart. The place their music comes from, the place they take listeners, is where conventions are tested. The ones that survive are strengthened, and mutate into something so alive you can almost believe it's entirely new. But The Exit Strategy is just a rock band, right? Guitar, vocals, bass, and drums, all stuff that's been heard before. So, what about them inspires awe? This band stands out from the countless forgettable others because of the way they rearrange common elements and put them through their paces. Drummer Tim Turcott lays down time like he's dropping heavy artillery, and he has the skill and precision to know exactly where to place his blasts for maximum effectiveness. Bassist Tony Flaminio's descending notes are felt more than heard, shaking the ground and rippling through it like a shock wave. And Steve Kabza's sharp guitar lines dart and dodge through it all, slicing away as Mark Costantino's vocals rumble, roaring bold proclamations of things some would rather not face. Taken separately, each member of The Exit Strategy performs impressively enough to make fellow musicians envious, but when they lock into each other and attack in full force, the result is something more than four talented guys playing together. It's a fusion of their hardcore, art damaged, angular post-punk and indie roots into a sonic ass thumping.
(Matt Barber, Buffalo, NY, 9/26/05)
Exit Strategy - Single Series Volume 23
Art of the Underground - AOTU 050 - 7inch
You might remember this Buffalo, NY band from their debut full length on AOTU. Here are 2 brand new songs, recorded by J. Robbins of Jawbox! For fans of Mission of Burma and Rites of Spring.
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