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ASG - Blood Drive

ASG
Blood Drive
by Spyros Stasis at 04 July 2013, 10:41 AM

ASG (does it stand for “All Systems Go” or “The Amplification of Self Gratification”? I hope for the latter, since that would be way cooler) are not exactly new to the scene. The band has existed since 2001, releasing three albums under Volcom Entertainment and now they are signed to Relapse Records, which is releasing their latest venture, “Blood Drive”. If you are thinking that ASG is going to be an extreme metal band then you will find yourself seriously wrong. The band lies somewhere between southern Rock (with some Stoner Rock extensions), the alternative Rock scene of the 90s (SOUNDGARDEN and JANE’S ADDICTION might come to mind) and modern Rock acts such as THE SWORD and TORCHE.

The brilliance of “Blood Drive” lies within its hooks. The ability of ASG to come up with addictive parts is insane; persistently bombarding you with addictive riffs, great melodies and vocal parts you will find yourself whistling along to. From the very start with the intro song, “Avalanche”, they show that they have a fair bit of weight to their sound while they manage to retain their melodic side. Unfolding their 70s influences along the way, they state: “All the gods are crazy, can’t you see?” Soon enough the title track takes over with its aggressive tone, slowly revealing the drenched in the 70s riffs, with a great chorus swooping in and the band uttering: “Got a long list of foes and a shorter list of friends”.

“Day’s Work” continues on the heavy devastating part that the band has set out to explore, only this time the sound is fucking huge, while the psychedelic elements go insane on the background (a side of the band that is further exposed on “Scrappy’s Trip”) while a guitar solo is taking over. “Scrappy’s Trip” more easy fluid and intoxicating vibe are in direct contradiction with the almost traditional heavy metal side of “Castlestorm”.

Giving way for the Blues-iest moment of the album to unfold, the majestic “Blues for Bama” sets a different mood over “Blood Drive” with the deep vocals crying out: “Come as you were, unwoven and unbroken”. The emotional aura carries on in a more southern rock sort of theme with the hallucinogenic “Earthwalk”, with a strong alternative rock element to it, it then lets one of the strongest moments of the album unfold: the unreal “Children’s Music”. Starting off with an acoustic guitar part it then turns to a devastating stoner storm of riffs, with one of the most mesmerizing choruses you can ask for.

The punkish vibe of “Hawkeye”, along with the BARONESS-esque quality of “Stargazin”, with its monumental start and astonishing energy, give place to the SOUNDGARDEN melancholy of “The Ladder”, a more laid back and relaxed track. The album finally closes with “Good Enough To Eat”, with the great acoustic guitar and the deep vocals, slowly evolving, although even when the rest of the instruments are introduced, ASG still preserve the feeling of the track.

“Blood Drive” is a modern Rock album. The twelve tracks found in here are full of great riffs, intriguing melodies and parts that will get stuck in your head for a very, very long time. To put it simply: an album filled with good fucking songs, what else do you need to ask for?

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Avalanche
2. Blood Drive
3. Day’s Work
4. Castlestorm
5. Scrappy’s Trip
6. Blues for Bama
7. Earthwalk
8. Children’s Music
9. Hawkeye
10. Stargazin
11. The Ladder
12. Good Enough To Eat
Lineup:
Andy Ellis – Bass
Scott Key – Drums
Jonah Citty – Guitars
Jason Shi – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Relapse Records
     


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