Asg - Win Us Over
Was I missed? Your dear Solitary has been neglecting his duties, and his punishment, although not severe, was just. Now after the wounds have healed, I finally return to give you, dearest readers, more of what you need and what you can live without. But I digress, we're here to talk about ASG (short for Amplified Self Gratification) and their new album of whiskey soaked southern stoner metal, "Win Us Over."
The record dropped on my birthday (Jan. 22), and it marks one of the first albums I've heard in the new year. Let me say that it's been a pleasing introduction to a new year of music. The boys in ASG have been together for about 5 years now, and have a cohesive musical mindset working in their corner due to the experience and road work. Their songs are bombastic, epically written with the almighty riff the centerpiece to just about all of their songs. Deftly mixing some punk angst and sludge into the mix, ASG leave little room in their sound for screwing around.
The first half of the disc is the more choice section, featuring four of my favorite tracks back to back to back to back. "Right Death Before" is a punchy mid-paced opener, utilizing sharp harmonics and a superb, melodic bridge and chorus to build sweet tension. Vocalist Jason Shi (who also represents 1/2 of the band's guitarists) has a hell of a voice, perfectly crafted for this style of melody-driven stoner metal. "Dream Song", #2, is hands down the best song present, full of balls and extreme energy.
I can't find much fault in "Win Us Over", not much at all. When they drift off into softer, acoustic-driven ballads, their quality drops just a touch. It's not that they don't deserve credit for trying; this album definitely needed the variety in songwriting. They'll just have to keep working on their low-tempo material. They've got the heavy down, and they bring it with enough passion and creativity to leave you wanting more and more. Fans of the Sabbath, Kyuss, and any stoner/sludge/southern metal deserves to hear this solid album.
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