We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record sotre personnel and DJs). Many of the bands in this list will play The Deli's Best of NYC Fest in Williamsburg in May (6 shows in 3 different venues between the 13 and the 15).
Eskalators are part band and part public performance piece. As if being a ska-influenced band in the Brooklyn indie scene isn’t already enough to raise some eyebrows, the band’s infamous and well-documented subway car performances have grabbed the attention of the Village Voice, the New York Post and Time Out New York. Eskalators formed in 2007 and performed their first show on—yes—an escalator in the Mall of America, and have since gone on to incorporate 18 members, including Williams. On the new record, Cats and Dogs Living Together, the band combines melodic and raw power-pop/punk vocals and power chords, a horn section, and everything from flute and glockenspiel to djembe. The songs are instantly infectious—melodic hooks abound and Williams’s vocals tap into the urgency of 20-something angst. The Eskalators aren’t totally a ska band (and to be fair, not everyone in the band grew up listening to ska); there’s enough pop melody and instrumental variety to push the band into other musical categories, and anyone with an interest in fun, energetic, and well-crafted songs should hop on board and sing along (lyrics are included with the band’s new record for that very purpose). – Bill Dvorak