The Epigones, based in Ontario, Canada, are guitarist Vic Ciampini and microphonist/bassist Darko Smolcic. You can purchase the EP from Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify. Visit their Website, and follow them on Twitter.
One of the perks of being a music lover on Twitter is that folks you follow, and who follow you in return, “like,” share, and comment on tweets from artists, and you’ll get the occasional notice telling you so. In this case, Wally from The Beautiful Music shared a track from The Epigones’ new EP, which I immediately enjoyed, and I then sought out their other music.
Welcome to “The Music Industry” in 2019. This is how it works, folks. You go out on social media and make some noise, and eventually you find some like-minded people who are making a similar noise, and you make new friends and discover new artists. I’ve experienced amazing, mind-blowing acts I hadn’t heard of a year ago (and I live and breathe music 24/7), because of my activity on Twitter. The industry-savvy acts know that the action isn’t coming from a major record label support and “promo guys.” Those days left the building with Elvis. It comes from working social media like a pro, making connections, and them making connections with their connections…a rock & roll LinkedIn, if you will.
That’s the story of how I came to write a review for The Epigones.
But what about the band? Let’s start with the name. An “epigone” is a follower, a disciple. Clever and smart name for a band. So who do The Epigones follow?
Based on the four tracks on this EP, my gut (and reasonably seasoned ears) tells me “Pre-Green R.E.M.” and Robin Guthrie, in and out of Cocteau Twins. That’s right, it’s the sound of early “Jangle Rock” infused with post-punk, ambient guitar. That’s a brilliant combination that immediately captures the attention of anyone who fondly remembers that sound, and I’m one of those people. I loved the track I heard, “Waiting For Cake,” within seconds of hearing it. (This is the part of the review where you raise a glass and toast Wally for having impeccable taste in music).
You might ask “Why “Pre-Green R.E.M.” and not simply “R.E.M.?” The answer is simple. In 2019, “Indie Music” is a huge, global collective. In 1983, I.R.S. was the “Indie Label” that sparked the movement, and R.E.M.‘s “Murmur” established itself as perhaps the single greatest “Indie Label Debut” of all time. The sound was dense and ringing, coining the term “Jangle Rock,” and Michael Stipe’s vocals were often indecipherable, and you know what? We…did…not…care, we loved this band and their sound, and so did many other acts who added a little “jangle” to their rock.
Then, in 1988 and their leap to a major label with “Green,” it all changed. All of a sudden we could understand Mr. Stipe, the guitars were somehow less jangly, and little by little, the “Murmur” band transformed into something different. They sold a boatload of records, but the only place where that sound lived on was in the bands that loved it and made it their own.
SO…take that very specific sound, blend it with a post-punk Guthrie spin on top, and you have a major debut from a band consisting of two of the smartest guys in any room they choose to walk into.
This all may sound like hyperbole, but it’s far from it. If you’ve connected with anything I’ve written here, you’re going to listen to this E.P. and love it from front to back. Tell a friend…that’s how I found this band.