#soundcheck – debut ep by chicago glam rocker esh

June 20, 2012

“There used to be a better kind / of rock and rolling superstar / they’d strut around and do their thing / all I know how to do is sing” Weezer sang in the lost album 4.5 gem “Superstar.” An eulogy to the days when rock gods were rock gods. No irony, no self-awareness, no Andrew WK meta-commentary. Just big guitars and big voices. And drum fills. A song didn’t count unless the drum fills could legally be used as a defibrillator. Chicago glam rocker Esh is a woman out of time. Harkening back to the long-gone days when fire-breathing monsters like Led Zeppelin and Heart walked the land, Esh’s debut EP You Should Know Me kicks ass and never apologizes.

After being a brief stint in the top 60 on American Idol in 2010 (don’t hold it against her too much though, she’s on team DIY now…), singer Iesha Sturdivant (aka Esh) put together a band featuring Terence Lee (bass), Brandon Tigner (drums) and Nick Jaffe (guitar). The hard rock quartet has been steadily building a fanbase in Chicago and Milwaukee. Esh’s mammoth vocals soar on this collection of songs about heartbreak. Songs like ‘Doing Fine’ and ‘You Should Know Me’ have a touch of Middle Eastern-by-way-of-Soundgarden. Or maybe more appropriately Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir.’

The self-released EP is full of bombast; Esh hasn’t met a song that couldn’t use two more guitar solos. Though the record is full of old sounds and old ideas of how a rock album should sound, on tracks like the stand-out ‘I Don’t Care’ Esh and co breathe new life into classic sounds.

– Contributor: Nathan Leigh