Creeper Vine - Luke Escombe and The Corporation (Dri-Clean Only Records)
Between battling and building awareness about Crohn’s disease, writing and delivering comedy routines and playing bluesy rock songs, hyperactive Sydneysider Luke Escombe makes records. Here’s one of them - an EP, in fact - and it’s a fun ride.
“Creeper Vine” is a five-song package of observations on 21st Century urban life. Its stated musical reference points (Freddie King, Chuck Berry, Elvis) are as clear as its themes (coping through coffee; the role of the axe in a happy marriage; female Prime Ministers.)
It’s all played with spirit by a well-honed band that includes veteran bassist Harry Brus (Kevin Borich, Billy Thorpe.) Escombe does the singing and most of the guitar playing and is no slouch in either department.
“Creeper Vine” sounds great but doesn’t take any musical chances. You can hear how Escombe’s last album. “Mantown”, spent nine months in the Aussie blues and roots charts (although I can’t imagine you’d have to sell too many thousands of copies these days to do that.) It’s straight-up bluesy rock with a degree of soul and tidy hooks, best enjoyed with a beer (or espresso) in hand and attention focused on the words.
The closer, “Industrial Action”, ramps up the rude word quotient (I knew that EXPLICIT tag in capital letters was there for a reason), it's probably only going to scare your grandma. Like the rest of "Creeper Vine", it’s good, (almost) clean fun.