Escala Escala (CD)

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 September, 2009, 12:00am

With crossover acts like David Garrett and Il Divo still selling millions of records, Escala, electric string quartet and finalists of last year's Britain's Got Talent, couldn't have picked a better time to release their debut album.

Despite being hailed by Simon Cowell as 'completely original', the tracks are neither new nor groundbreaking, and the group does little to distinguish itself from its predecessors such as Bond and Vanessa Mae.

But there is a mix of sounds on the album, with pieces ranging from baroque composer Handel's Sarabande to Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin cover featuring Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash.

The vibrant energy of Palladio, the group's signature tune, will give the most reluctant couch potato get-up-and-go. Similarly intense tracks Live and Let Die and Clubbed to Death are instantly recognisable movie melodies.

Thankfully, between the pounding drum beats and relentless bass lines, there are some calmer moments, such as in Finding Beauty and Chi Mai. Feeling Good is an offbeat track which shows off the versatile tones of the instruments.

The group's slant on both old and new tunes makes it hard not to like this album.