Friday, November 26, 2010
Review: Ashers - "Kill Your Master"
Ashers are a five-piece hardcore band from Boston, Massachusetts formed by Mark “Unseen” Civitarese with members of Crash and Burn and Deadly Sins. While the Unseen has been quiet since 2007’s Internal Salvation, Ashers have been busy, releasing the Cold Dark Place EP in 2008 and touring the U.S. and Europe for the past several years.
Since the Unseen was embracing an almost distinctly hardcore sound with Internal Salvation, Ashers isn't a huge change for Mark Unseen and company. The songs on Kill Your Master are short, aggressive and angry, but have enough variety to stay interesting through the 25 minutes of music.
Beginning with the savage title track and through the two-minute slam-pit anthem “Faith Denied,” Kill Your Master rarely lets up. Gang shouts, slicing guitars and head-pounding rhythms populate most of the tracks, with an occasional guitar solo thrown in for good measure. The only big departure comes on “Blood and Grain,” a sludgy rock number written and sang by guitarist Billy Brown. Although it’s not the best track on the record, it does provide a nice change of pace and features far and away the best lyrics on Kill Your Master: “When the wreckage starts to rust / And our structures turn to dust and blow away / The hungry will feast on the well-fed one day / It all unravels at the pull of a string / You’ll find your money don’t mean a fucking thing.”
There’s really not much not to like on Kill Your Master. The songs are good, the production is really good...Joe Packard’s basslines are thick and full, and the mixing is top-notch. The only real complaint that should be leveled is that “Destitution” and “Cold Dark Place” both already appeared on the Cold Dark Place EP, which is only a complaint for those who bought the latter.
Fans of the Unseen need not think twice before picking up this disc. Its hardcore and street punk appeal yield the expected results on an album that if nothing else, will certainly satisfy fans until the next Unseen album, if not altogether stand on its own as a solid debut LP.