June 21, 2011 - Hawthorne Street
The intro to “Roaches”—the title track of ÆGES’ two-song debut EP—feels like a salvo of rabies injections to the gut. Then the needling feedback and dissonance stop, and the melody starts. Featuring an all-star lineup that includes Undertow guitarist Mark Holcomb and Pelican drummer Larry Herweg, ÆGES traffic in a tense interplay of extremes: On one hand, “Roaches” and its flip, “Dirt,” are as heavy as the band’s pedigree suggests. But there’s also a distinct Torche-like dynamic to the riffs—and in the epic, soaring vocal harmonies—that isn’t far removed from other current post-Floor practitioners such as Helms Alee and Soul Control. Here, though, there’s a more blatant pop element, even as Holcomb and crew dip sporadically back into their bag of discordant tricks.