Pistols At Dawn – Ascension

Last year, the Nocturnal Youth EP marked our cards as to the prowess and potential of Atlanta quintet Pistols At DAWN. Now building on its strengths and promise, the band has uncaged Ascension, an eight track debut album which leaves little doubt…PISTOLS AT DAWN are a big deal.

Originally forming in 2015 and releasing some early singles, various other projects for its members left the band on the sidelines before in 2019 founding members in drummer Adam Jaffe, guitarist Devin White, and bassist Billy Sullivan revived the outfit. Its line-up was completed by guitarist Tommy Richardson and vocalist Cris Hodges. With a sound merging alt rock with metal and an array of other flavours to resist exact tagging, the band entered the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer Sylvia Massy (Tool, System Of A Down, Johnny Cash) to record Ascension, emerging with a record which sets a marker down for major attention.

The album presents a collection of tracks which wear the anxieties and shadows of the past couple of years but tracks, in comparison to the band’s earlier shadow roaming EP, share a light of hope whilst surveying a world in turmoil. Straightaway the release makes a firm statement of intent in contemplation and craft, opener Under The Surface rising up on an eddy of riffs and electronic coaxing. Quickly it is to its feet, pugilistic rhythms commanding keen attention and even which is even more consumed as Hodges’ vocals stand mid tempest with command and enterprise. Similarly, guitars and rhythms weave a mercurial landscape of trespass, the track’s forcible attack physically and emotively contagious.

The following Fly swiftly ensured ears were not going to wander, its haunted beginning soon a cauldron of emotion and sonic fire around a hook loaded stroll bound in craft cunning temptation. As its predecessor, the song wears its dilemma fueled heart on its sleeve, the track a blaze of alt rock with metal and grunge kilned tensions before Keep Me Guessing sprung its web of hooks and sonic ferocity.  Its entrance is relatively controlled but soon the fire inside is blazing with the guitars at the helm scorching air around Hodges’ ever alluring tones.

A release which ultimately never takes its foot off the pedal of intensity and enterprise, its addictive tendencies continued with For You, the song drawing us in with its almost warning like pulses and intrigue loaded flares before striding purposely through ears. With volatility in its breath and shadows, the track relaxes into a contemplative stroll but melodic surges and harmonic spirals offer unpredictability within its skies. As those before it, the track is pure virulence within a sonic kaleidoscope of light and dark.

The Truth brings its own sense of tempestuous calm to ears next, its controlled passage lit with melodic tempting and animated hooks of infectious design. Melancholy is its light as equally heart inspiriting resolve; its chorus encapsulating both whilst sparking a greater insight of that tempestuousness while Gravity simply grabbed favourite track choice with its limbo-esque setting and emotive dilemma within a web of viral invention and combustible dispute. Atmospherically tenebrific and creatively fertile, the track proved unrelenting incitement for ears and appetite.

The final pair of Get Away and Dictator closes the album as impressively and memorably as it began. The first is an uncompromising virulence of rock ‘n’ roll, the angst and insecurities of its dark beginnings unleashed in ferocious infectiousness  as the song surges while its superb successor almost taunts the listener with its espionage of menace and restlessness, that suspense and tension unbridled in a mercurial web of creative catchiness and unpredictable imagination. 

Every moment of Ascension had ears gripped and instinctive pleasure ignited, eager participation as quickly and increasingly drawn; Pistols At dawn evoking all like few others in recent months.

 Ascension is out now via distributor Megaforce Records/MRI Entertainment.

 https://www.pistolsatdawnband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/PistolsAtDawnBand/   https://www.instagram.com/pistolsatdawnofficial/  

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Music

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