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ASG - Win Us Over (CD) Cover Art ASG - Win Us Over (CD)

Artwork by Malleus!

North Carolina's ASG return with their fourth release, the smoldering platter titled Win Us Over, and my prediction is that they certainly will 'win over' non-believers once they get their brand of stoner, doom-meets-technical metal-meets-alternative styled music out to the masses. Win Us Over contains 13 tracks of tasty riffage, memorable melodies and arrangements, and a great mix of varied vocal styles. Throw in some wild fuzz-toned guitar solos which might bring you back to the 70's, and you have an enjoyable release that should appeal to a wide variety of metal fans.

It has those thick grooves, that shit that makes you dance around your room no matter what mood you’re in but there’s also an aggression that’s sorely lacking in a lot of groove rock going on right now. It seems that ASG not only learned their lessons from Kyuss and Fu Manchu but also heavily from Monster Magnet and even early Metallica. This hybrid that ASG have created is equal parts groove, triumphant seventies rock and aggressive metal. Another lethal weapon in the ASG arsenal is frontman Jason Shi’s voice. Ranging from the intense to the triumphant, ringing in the heyday of seventies rock kings when being able to sing was a good thing and nobody relied too heavily on screaming. The music here is so well produced, so heavy and sludgy but groovy and thick. ASG are like the Guinness of music, slow at times but worth every second of it. “Win Us Over” has totally done that, right now I’m a fan and if they can pull this off live then I will be a dedicated life-long addict!!!

All you have to do to figure out ASG’s sound is simply look at the album cover and know that, the band’s moniker to ASG. That’s it! And what’s the sound that’s conveyed? Try uptempo stoner rock drenched with punk and catchy elements. So, you aren’t lulled into a slow burner fuck job of couch plastering, but you aren’t met with pop punk happiness; something more akin to commercially-pleasing stoner rock. From the pleasant and chill beach community of Wrightsville Beach, NC, riffs are aplenty on Win Us Over and Jason Shi’s vocals are typically coupled in a perfect fit. We reviewed ASG’s debut …The Amplification of Self Gratification, but not their 2005 sophomore, and clearly the sixteen-track Win Us Over is light years ahead of previous efforts. It may be working with producer Matt Hyde that transformed these mellow Carolina beach rockers, but whatever the reason Win Us Over is pleasing as hell; and one imagines Guitar Hero around the corner.

Out of Stock
Price: $13.99
Birds of Avalon - Bazaar Bazaar (CD) Cover Art Birds of Avalon - Bazaar Bazaar (CD)



Featuring former Cherry Valance guitarists Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler, the band wades into all things rock nostalgia. Sporting songs that make peace between psychedelic fuzz-ups, sludgy proto-metal licks and occasional jaunts through garage-rock simplicity, Bazaar, Bazaar revolves around worshipping the days when rock wasn't just loud, it was king. Matched with Siler's pure rock delivery -- which hovers above the noise in the tradition of everyone from Robert Plant to Ozzy Osbourne to Michael Maker -- Birds of Avalon charges through the book of rock with a purpose. Bazaar, Bazaar doesn't spend too much time wallowing in tradition, instead forging its own link in the chain. Birds of Avalon are enough aware of their rock'n'roll history to make Bazaar, Bazaar sizzle, but allow it the wiggle room to make it more than a history lesson. The band's debut is a freewheelin' ode to most of what's great about rock'n'roll.

If I were to write that Birds of Avalon mix grandiose prog, upbeat power pop and riffy psych and leave it at that, most people would scratch their heads and just assume that Bazaar Bazaar was an erratic affair that couldn't possibly find itself. That assumption seems like a good one, but it's flat out wrong. Birds of Avalon reminds us that prog doesn't have to be devoid of emotion and that pop doesn't have to be devoid of grandness. Surprisingly, the two aren't mutually exclusive and Birds of Avalon bring them together along with an element of trippiness for good measure. It's no small feat, but Birds of Avalon do it with such ease that it doesn't even seem striking unless you think about it.

Out of Stock
Price: $6.66
Birds of Avalon - Outer Upper Inner (CD EP) Cover Art Birds of Avalon - Outer Upper Inner (CD EP)



This Raleigh, NC five-piece (featuring members of Cherry Valence) seems more influenced by the synth-influenced alt rock of the early '80's than the lumbering menace of Sabbath and the like. Elsewhere you get a keen sense of Brit-pop, much like Olivia Tremor Control did back on Dust on Cubist Castle, but without the overwhelming indebtedness to the Beatles. And for those who require something with more than a little get up and go, try “The Reeds” on for size. Quirky? Poppy? You betcha. But that's not always a bad thing.

The record is laden with monstrous riffs, classic rock sensibility and progressive psychedelic flavor.

In Stock
Price: $6.66
Birds of Avalon - Outer Upper Inner (Color) (LP) Cover Art Birds of Avalon - Outer Upper Inner (Orange) (LP)

Limited edition on 180 gr. orange colored vinyl!

This Raleigh, NC five-piece (featuring members of Cherry Valence) seems more influenced by the synth-influenced alt rock of the early '80's than the lumbering menace of Sabbath and the like. Elsewhere you get a keen sense of Brit-pop, much like Olivia Tremor Control did back on Dust on Cubist Castle, but without the overwhelming indebtedness to the Beatles. And for those who require something with more than a little get up and go, try “The Reeds” on for size. Quirky? Poppy? You betcha. But that's not always a bad thing.

The record is laden with monstrous riffs, classic rock sensibility and progressive psychedelic flavor.

Low Stock
Price: $10.99
Birds of Avalon - Uncanny Valley (CD) Cover Art Birds of Avalon - Uncanny Valley (CD)



Relative to its predecessor, Uncanny Valley is, first and foremost, a psychedelic rock record. Uncanny Valley doesn't veer entirely clear of the sorts of songs and hooks that earned Birds of Avalon a, well, flock in the first place. But it does suspend them in a rarified, hypercolor air that has more to do with dub music and jam bands—albeit, happily, those of the German '70s variety—than Deep Purple. The band misdirects often, shifting through rhythms and tones, working more for atmosphere than anthems. Audacious instrumental interludes, intros and outros blend those environments, creating an album in the most classic sense. That is, this isn't a collection of moments tied together. It's a singular space lined by landmarks.

Low Stock
Price: $6.66
Birds of Avalon - Uncanny Valley (LP) Cover Art Birds of Avalon - Uncanny Valley (LP)

180gr. vinyl. Includes a free digital download card.

Relative to its predecessor, Uncanny Valley is, first and foremost, a psychedelic rock record. Uncanny Valley doesn't veer entirely clear of the sorts of songs and hooks that earned Birds of Avalon a, well, flock in the first place. But it does suspend them in a rarified, hypercolor air that has more to do with dub music and jam bands—albeit, happily, those of the German '70s variety—than Deep Purple. The band misdirects often, shifting through rhythms and tones, working more for atmosphere than anthems. Audacious instrumental interludes, intros and outros blend those environments, creating an album in the most classic sense. That is, this isn't a collection of moments tied together. It's a singular space lined by landmarks.

In Stock
Price: $14.99
Dirty Fences - Too High to Kross (CD) Cover Art Dirty Fences - Too High to Kross (CD)



The debut full length, ''Too High To Kross'' evokes early American rock and punk acts such as Red Kross, MC5, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones and The Stooges. However those names are just reference points because what Dirty Fences is doing is truly unique and moreover it's rambunctious, melodic, fun and dangerous... something that they managed to convey by recording the instrumentation for their new album completely live. You can hear the flavor of Memphis, a bit garage, power pop, twang, and blue-eyed soul come through in the 13 tracks.

In Stock
Price: $9.99
Flood - Oak (Green Swirl) (LP) Cover Art Flood - Oak (Green Swirl) (LP)

Limited edition of only 500 copies on green swirl vinyl.

On vinyl, here is Oakland's HEAVY STONER/DOOM band Flood's 2014 album.

In Stock
Price: $16.99
Premonition 13 - 13 (CD) Cover Art Premonition 13 - 13 (CD)



Scott "Wino" Weinrich's latest project, Premonition 13, sees him plugged back into his amplifier and the full band format. A musical entity that finds its genesis in jam sessions dating back two decades, when Wino first met fellow guitarist Jim Karow and their series of informal jams over the years have finally coalesced with the release of their first full length album, 13. Rounded out by Ostinato's Matthew Clark on drums, Premonition 13 ventures into territories both new and familiar for Wino. Fans of Wino's Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand releases take notice.

Out of Stock
Price: $6.66
Premonition 13 - 13 (Color) (LP) Cover Art Premonition 13 - 13 (Color) (LP)

Limited edition of only 1000 copies on orange vinyl. Includes a digital download code in audio formats (320kbps MP3, Apple Lossless or FLAC).

Scott "Wino" Weinrich's latest project, Premonition 13, sees him plugged back into his amplifier and the full band format. A musical entity that finds its genesis in jam sessions dating back two decades, when Wino first met fellow guitarist Jim Karow and their series of informal jams over the years have finally coalesced with the release of their first full length album, 13. Rounded out by Ostinato's Matthew Clark on drums, Premonition 13 ventures into territories both new and familiar for Wino. Fans of Wino's Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand releases take notice.

In Stock
Price: $17.99
   
 
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