Live review from Underground Rocks 2019
1. Ghost Town
2. The Minutes
5. State of Bias
結他solo一聽難忘，主音聲線溫柔、哀傷而有力量，大部份歌第一次聽已令人印象深刻，風格絕對鮮明，歌曲飽含情感。Ghost Town和The Minutes最能表現樂隊溫柔而具力量的一面，The Minutes的結他SOLO旋律更是既有激情又帶細膩。及後的歌開始偏向傷感，Solace主音和音又似呢喃、又似夢囈的吶喊更是非常夢幻，具有將觀眾捲入一場回憶的感覺。樂隊配合度高，樂手偶爾互望微笑，偶爾合上眼享受演出，偶爾認真調整音效。整體而言絕對是一種享受！
Following up from their debut stint at Clockenflap 2018, Esimorp seemed to be a name on quite a few lips at the Hub.
As the band tuned up, their fans suddenly yet perceptibly trickling forward to populate the front of the audience space, I got an acidic twinge of excitement for what they had to offer.
Stripped back and delicate, their opening number Ghost Town was a slow-burner. It built in texture, with instruments gradually coalescing alongside soft drum tracks and a grooving guitar riff. This simple combination is steered by strong, breathy vocals from guitarist and lead singer Promise- Esimorp backwards. The sound is something akin to the heyday of Soundgarden, a post-grunge rock ballad which feels both familiar and refreshing.
There was even a touch of ska featured in The Minutes, which was commandeered by a particularly commanding bassline. It’s a musical cross-pollination of sorts, encompassing aspects of folk, gospel, and grunge with a collectively self-assured flair found only in bands which have the guts to push limits.
Whilst appreciating Esimorp as a collective, the individual performers do deserve individual praise. Special shout out to electric guitarist Ric, whose tangible energy never faltered throughout the set and whose skills definitely impressed the room.
Yes, I spotted the tapping displayed during the solo in State of Bias!
Despite the loudness of the bass in comparison to other instruments (which I have come to read as being a deliberate move, accenting the drum tracks), this is a band which clearly knows its craft. Each song took the audience on a journey; each grew and transformed from its barest bones; each left the crowd in rapturous applause. Esimorp explore the far reaches of alt rock, a blend of sounds and styles which span the breadth of genre whilst retaining consistently harmonic vocal melodies.
Maybe next time though, boys, let your bassist know about the stripy t-shirt plan.
I love a bit of yrtemmys.
(Read it backwards).
– Jasmine GW
Live review from Rustic #3
1. Nothing More
3. Hurrican Sydney
5. My Wreckage
Rustic #3 proved to be quite the variety of tunes at Sheung Wan on a warm Saturday night. The 4 piece known as Esimorp (their lead singer’s name spelt backwards) provided an infinitely danceable set of upbeat and anthemic folk pop against the comfortably packed backdrop of Morrison Café and Bar’s neon paint encrusted mirror, and a stage presence that was hard to miss.
Running through a set of 6 songs, the pop influences were clear, and I’d even venture to say their performance departed into the realms of alt-rock, allowing them to stand out from the folk based theme of the night. They opened up with Nothing More, a hard strumming, distorted lead of a tune that set listener’s feet amoving. Their music is that of balmy summer nights spent sitting by the ocean as the salty air licks the sweat off your shoulders, all while the city stands shimmering like a desert mirage behind you. Even with only a Cajón at his disposal that can often be drowned out by amped instruments, Esimorp’s drummer Julian performed admirably. A shame that a full drum set wasn’t available to balance out Ric’s pleasantly airy reverbed lead that features in so many of their songs. Paris, their next song was again unmistakeably danceable, drawing comparisons to such artists as Coasts, Kings of Leon, or even the more well-known Amber Run in their youthful energy. Lead singer Promise’s vocals were well controlled in the highs and lows, with a strength that provided a solid counterpoint to Paul’s understated bass.
Much the same can be said for the rest of their set, with the minor key of Bias acting as a springboard into which they sleeked seamlessly into My Wreckage. And of course Apostasy, a tune that saw them win Volkswagen x Underground earlier this year, and also a recent single release. A light-hearted tune backed by heavy words of “I built an altar to her, apostasy was not enough” and stuttered rhythm in the second verse that was really quite impressive. One minor gripe was a slight difficulty in hearing their undoubtedly well written lyrics, making it fall just short of perfect.
Esimorp’s music firmly places itself amongst a host of rousing summer rockers and was an excellent listen as the sunniest season of the year comes to a close. The next time they’re playing, make sure you’re there for a night of foot tapping and body swaying memories.
– Weihan Tang
Live review from Volkswagen x Underground Battle of the Bands Final 2017
Esimorp came to stage as the most standard outfit so far that night, following a funk-jazz band that featured groovy usage of a talk box, and a five-piece that cleverly eluded the confines of genre. I hadn’t seen them perform live yet, but if they were able to pull off what I’d seen them capable of doing on their Ted-x performance on Youtube, the alt-rockers were due to put on a show that would wow the audience and judges.
Esimorp opened strongly with their best-known original, Apostasy. Unfazed by the high-standard set by the previous bands, lead-singer Promise (I realise only now that Esimorp is his name backwards, doh!) belted out evocative vocals turned all the way up to eleven. What a shame however, that the rawness and emotional-intensity of his voice was exploited at the sacrifice of the ability to distinguish the lyrics, which when heard are indeed quite clever and a cut-above most mainstream alt-rock bands. Non the less, the band was able to demonstrate their musical ability, bright and melodic guitar-work from Ric acted as a brilliant polyphonic framework for the uplifting tone that carried the song.
By the second song, Nothing More, the audiences’ heads could be seen bobbing in their sea of pop and rhythm. The intro came to with an engaging use of call and response between Ric and Promise’s guitars. A nifty bit of drum work came through here and there, but for the most part Julian contributed by providing a strong backbone throughout the set. Promise’s vocals, a meeting of Dave Grohl and Caleb Followill from Kings Of Leon, was met half-heartedly with backing from bassist Paul. For such an energetic performance from the rest of the crew, I feel that he would do well with a couple of cans of Red Bull before a performance to keep up with the rest of the band.
Posted on the bands Facebook page that night, was the offering of the debut new original for the show. Promise built up the hype with his lively stage presence, letting the audience know that Ric was in fact single, in preparation of what was to come. The hype was not unfounded, Ric’s solo was flawless, evident even that Paul had some of the songs spirit in him. The bands songwriting ability and passion drove home with the audience, and made clear that this was a band to be reckoned with. Their structure was well developed, and satisfying weight was given to the each of the songs climax’s.
As the night came to a close, deciding who would win the battle of the bands would have been no easier than resisting the temptation bob your head to Nothing More. In the end however, I was excited to hear that Esimorp would be going into the studio to record their material sometime soon as winners of this years Battle Of The Bands!
– Ryan Harling
Live review from The Underground “Back to its Roots” Festival Part 1:
2. Bother Not
3. Nothing More
4. The Minutes
After a few good cheers for The Three Hares, ambient folky band Esimorp intro’d with their first song ‘Adam’. A thumping Cajon accompanied a melodic electric guitar while the lead singer poured his heart out with his acoustic guitar and strong voice. Second song ‘Bother Not’ was a faster yet softer track, pulling in more spectators with a rhythmic electric guitar and a steady beat. The band was introduced before the third song ‘Nothing More’, lead singer mentioning his guitarist was his BFF and trying to set him up with a lucky crowd goer. A lot of photos were taken with the song’s story-like vocals and the dreamy tremolo guitar sound. Fourth song ‘The Minutes’ featured lots of effects work on the electric guitar, creating a dreamy soundscape, and the lead singer getting really into it during the guitar solo, passionately strumming the rhythm away on his acoustic.
The fifth song ‘Paris’ again featured a dreamy soundscape, with sparse lead guitar riffs and airy acoustic strumming, contrasting well with the sights of the carnival rides. Ending on ‘Apostacy’, the lead’s singer’s rich vocals and unswerving acoustic strums were accompanied by a floaty-sounding lead melody, lulling the crowd and earning a big round of applause. Esimorp had a very organic, natural feel to them; you the audience could see the three piece band had a tight bond between them.
– Sherman Leung