Let’s face it, it’s all going to be Rock from here on out. Occult Rock, Post-Rock, Prog Rock, Stoner Rock… you name it. As long as it keeps selling, every third band the big-time Metal indies sign is going to be more Rock than Dwayne Johnson watching Def Leppard play “Rock Brigade,” “Rock of Ages,” “Let’s Get Rocked,” and “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)” at the Grand Canyon… on crack. However, occasionally they’re going to pick a winner or two. Maybe even resurrect a few careers. Until now, I had never heard 11-year veterans A.S.G. (The Amplification of Self-Gratification), and while I certainly didn’t have high hopes going in —they did a split with the unlistenable Karma to Burn in 2009— I’m having a hell of a time finding anything wrong with the Wilmington quartet’s first full-length in six years. Just in case that opening bit didn’t clear things up for you, this is nothing extremity-obsessed brutality-addicts need concern themselves with. Blood Drive isn’t really all that heavy… not even in a heavy-for-a-Rock-band sense. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t catchier than HPV at a Midwest whorehouse. I’m tempted to make a joke about their “Southern cookin’ bein’ tasty,” but I don’t want to imply that they’re one of those awful redneck acts with Down(s) Syndrome. They aren’t. Their sound is probably closer to something that would’ve been passed off as “Alternative” in the mid-’90s. I realize this is going to be a far-out reference for Metalheads, but does anyone remember Silverchair? Seriously. The best comparison I can offer is Silverchair with way bigger balls. (I can’t believe I just typed that.) If you aren’t 100% scared away by now, you might as well take the plunge. Trust me, it’s actually a great record. These guys know big riffs, big hooks, and even bigger choruses. They have a damn good singer and they don’t do filler. There’s also nothing to hate about the lyrics. They even wrote a song about Northwest Indiana for me (“Day’s Work”). Every track here has total stuck-in-your-head-the-next-day capability, and I honestly don’t know what else a good tune needs to be. For those about to Rock… we download you.
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