Only Now Existing, the alter ego of James Garrett, excelled in its first album, the self produced Voodoo Dolls. The Internet buzzed with praises for the gritty rawness and passionate effort to combine genres, philosophies and moods into an eclectic mix tape worked out on a basement sound board.
Unfortunately, Garrett’s second attempt, Escape Artist, has taken the deep plunge into bad albums scored in the bargain bin at the Haitian thrift store. From the first few beats on the opening “Mission Ship,” the listener will be struck by the absolutely trite simplicity that pangs across the ear drum. Gothically inspired, solid and basic electronic beats ease into a distorted emotional voice. The sound is naÃ¯ve and dull, as images of an adolescent Yanni playing his pimple faced tribute to Trent Resnor and Pretty Little Hate Machine immediately come to mind. Neither dark enough to wrap you in veiled self loathing nor inspiring enough to lift you out of the self help lines that Garrett grovels over the annoying noise.
If your Casio keyboard had a pre-programmed “Goth” button, Only Now Existing was most likely the author and producer and your tweaks with the “BossaNova” rhythm and inadvertent clang of electronic cymbal has only made this music better. Garrett seems more mesmerized with his own personal philosophies and personal imagery than actually creating music that catches your attention and makes you sits back and listen. Not only does it fade into the background but you will likely help it along with a forceful press of the eject button.