The history of Ten Foot Pole is one of the most interesting in music. Originally starting life as hardcore band Scared Straight, they changed their name in the early 90s. Scott Radinsky fronted the band before he left to peruse a baseball career. In the 2000s, things slowed down so Dennis Jagard could do sound for Prince, Jimmy Eat World, and “Weird Al.” But, the story isn’t over for the band, as they’re back and with a new album ‘Escalating Quickly,’ and lease for life.
The album comes out of the blocks at breakneck speed. It says “We might not have been around for a while, and we might have got a bit older, but we’re still the same band… who play real fast and hard!” And they are right. Age hasn’t slowed Ten Foot Pole down at all, in fact years of touring and living in the business has made their lyrics more astute and forthright. The star of Escalating Quickly is “Don’t Be a Dick’.” As the title suggests, this is about not being a dick. It’s catchy, frantic, and hilarious with pangs of truth; it’s everything you’d want from the band. “I Hate the Night” is rammed full of catchy keyboards and segues nicely into ‘Unbroken’ with this intricate riffs and devastating solo.
The only downside to Escalating Quickly comes about half way through, when everything starts to sound too familiar, and the frenetic pace starts to get too much. Without any real changes in tempo, everything starts to merge into one. However, at 33 minutes, Escalating Quickly is incredibly tight, and there isn’t much to be trimmed, but “The Jackals” or “The Antidote’” could have been trimmed/removed, and the album might have benefited from it. Existing fans will adore Escalating Quickly, but it will also work well as a gateway for new fans. Welcome back guys. We’ve missed you.