Formed in the North Carolina coastline community of Wrightsville Beach in 2001, the riff-fueled, distortion-driven rock of ASG that can be found on their latest effort has actually been at the band’s core since its inception.
Initially forming as a three-piece instrumental project, due to the lack of a dedicated vocalist, ASG were intensely focusing on devising tight, driving guitar riffs, locking guitarist Jason Shi in with the rhythm section of bassist Andy Ellis and drummer Scott Key.
But as time passed and no vocalist was found, Shi was eventually forced to step up to the mic.
With Shi becoming more comfortable as a frontman, the group found themselves connecting with Volcom Entertainment, who signed the band and put them in the studio in 2003, to record their debut album, …The Amplification of Self Gratification.
In 2005 ASG found themselves in a proper studio with proper producers, Matt Hyde and Phil Caivano, recording their sophomore album, Feeling Good Is Good Enough, an album that summoned all the band’s potential and spawned a thunderous hard rock creation that equaled what the band had been working towards for the past 3 years.
Shortly after completing Feeling Good Is Good Enough, second guitarist, Jonah Citty, was added to help recreate the album’s sounds live, which was none too soon as the band quickly found themselves on the road with the likes of Motorhead,Fu Manchu,Saviours,The Sword, Torche, Dwarves, and CKY.
In June 2007 ASG returned to Los Angeles to record their fourth album, entitled Win Us Over, with Matt Hyde again.
Win Us Over, is a vivid, psychedelic, and panoramic thrust that is just as much for the ears as it is for the aura; an experience in a colorful and dense cloth of abrasiveness.
Big beefy guitar riffs and melodic foreboding are soaked in Southern roadhouse whiskey, that just might be laced with psilocybin, and are hazed out through a kaleidoscopic squall that packs a walloping sonic punch.
While the ingredients of stoner rock, psychedelic metal, and angst-ridden punk rock are apparent, ASG doesn’t fit under any particular category. Be you a fan of plain ol’ rock and roll and don sleeveless flannels while sucking down 22 ouncers and gettin’ rowdy – or enjoy waxin’ deep on the bong, Win Us Over lives up to it’s namesake and ensures that come January 22nd 2008, ASG won’t be knocking on any doors; they’ll be knocking them down.
Win Us Over is available now digitally and is set for physical release (CD &am; 2XLP) on January 22, 2008
There is a hidden world where ancient evil weaves a modern mystery. A world filled with the darkest magic’s where all movement is caused by tensions between positive and negative furies. A world in which the furies, when out of balance, turn into demon and live forever. A creature of fast dark destructive power. Repulsive and evil existing only to plague the living as they do with LO-PAN, who is cursed. Cursed with rock and roll genius. Born out of a combination of dirty rock and roll, stale beer and an unhealthy obsession with “Big Trouble In Little China,” Columbus’s Lo-Pan have been tearing up the club circuit since 2005. Lo-Pan burst onto the local scene with their locally released self-titled album back in 2006. The local buzz gave way to more national attention as bands told bands and Lo-Pan began gracing venues big and small with names like Red Giant, Devil To Pay, Torche, Saviours, Year Long Disaster, Red Fang, Valkyrie, & the Atomic Bitchwax (just to name a few). Fast forward five years and there’s hardly a band worth playing with that they haven’t shared a stage with. Enter the sophomore release, “Sasquanaut.” Initial pressings on local indie Nice Life Records sold out quickly and as before the best praise is when one band on the road tells another “Hey, man you’ve got to check this out.” Which brought them, album masters in hand to us here at Small Stone. “Sasquanaut” had all the makings of a classic, thunderous low ends, pummeling drums, riffs to die for and a voice that soars but for all the genius that shone through it was still rough around the edges (don’t get us wrong we love rough around the edges). So we checked them in to a proper studio and left them in the capable hands of Benny Grotto for a little remixing, a little re-mastering and just ever so much re-recording. Enter Sasquanaut, mark 2: “Sasquanaut (Remixed & Re-mastered).” Heavier, more dynamic, louder and just that tiny bit more polished, this is the album that bands and fans new they could make. Mere words just can’t do justice to the effect that a little more time and the proper equipment have had on these eight raging tracks. Maybe a quote from the bands namesake might sum it up. “When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”
Just when you thought Southern rock was said and done, along comes Beitthemeans, swaggering out from a dark shed somewhere deep in the pines of Sylacauga, Alabama. The name is fitting for a power trio that is all about boot straps, whether it’s pulling them up or using them to beat their way out of a smoldering genre that could benefit from a whipping or two. With swelling riffs, bluesy throwbacks and a lead singer with a screech that must be part owl, BITM certainly cracks the whip on Southern rock.
Bassist Casey Wilson, drummer Nathan Kelley and singer/guitarist Josh Jones partnered with Birmingham’s Ol Elegante studios and producer Lester Nuby for the band’s latest effort, Head Held High.
It’s a natural pairing, considering Nuby’s roots in alternative Southern rock. He currently plays in a Birmingham-based band called Vulture Whale, was a founding member of the band Verbena and has worked extensively with folks like Amy Ray and Dave Grohl.
“They’re Southern rock, no doubt, but with a hint of the occult,” Nuby says. “And, lyrically it’s completely truthful…singing songs about salvation and sin, about getting by in crazy, small-town Alabama.”
It doesn’t hurt either, that Jones’ startling scream is a full-on invocation to the dirty ghosts of rock and roll’s past, present and future. The band challenges all that has been and is to come of Southern rock and roll, making Head Held High a revival of sorts. Instead of resting on the laurels of the music royalty they admire: Son House, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, Soundgarden, Nirvana, BITM left inspiration at the shed door and emerged on their own time, only after capturing a hell-bent sound they could claim as their own. And that’s what rebel punks should do.
These Beasts (Chicago, Illinois) are a trio of hard driving heavy metal, soul bending space rock, and power noise that will rock your face off.