Album Review: A Skylit Drive – ASD

A Skylit Drive - ASDA Skylit Drive effortlessly forge a sonic representation of the troubled human life cycle faced on a daily basis with ‘ASD’.

Accidentally giving the Cali outfit’s fifth record an air of a medical condition, self-initialled ‘ASD’ wears its heart on its proverbial sleeve with as much conviction as you’d ever expect from them. No strangers to contagious pessimistic anthems, ‘ASD’ comes loaded with chant-able hooks and a strong feeling that this may be A Skylit Drive’s defining production.

“The blood that we bleed sets us free,” calls out catchy realist opener ‘Bring Me a War’, making its mission statement loud and clear from the get-go, that music can and will address political and social issues beyond its control. While the melodic cries of frontman Michael Jagmin soar through ‘Self/Less’, unclean vox Michael Labelle’s guttural screams frame ‘Falling Apart in a Crowded Room’, a timeless ode to isolation that they should’ve written years ago.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28_KgNmiBPA&w=100&h=420]

Proof of their musical maturity garnered over the last decade, ‘Shock My Heart’ demonstrates the way post-hardcore should be done – driven by new drummer Brandon Richter‘s expertise and a contagious melody made to be screamed back by crowds in unison. Perfecting a tried and tested formula of chaotic forlorn sentiment, the agonised insomnia of ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ emerges as a guiding light for the next generation of bands looking to bottle emotions with the right amount of finesse.

Forceful and vicious, ‘Risk It All’ accompanies the seductive tones of ‘Running in Circles’, lamenting the things that might have been, both brought to prominence with appropriately decadent production. Similarly making its voice heard loud and clear, ‘Oblivion’ opens the ventricles for ‘Symphony of Broken Bones’, the last fighting talk of a heart giving itself up under the strain of a venomous and melodic vocal playoff.

Probably unintentionally opening on the same notes as The Used track ‘Hard to Say’, ‘Find A Way’s glittering harmony fades into itself, before unexpectedly closing on 10 seconds of unadulterated brutality. Far too many acts try to stifle their inspirations and focus on becoming a new entity, but this exhibition of emo roots stands this quintet a little taller for it. “You didn’t even try to survive, you didn’t even care, you left us all behind,” belts the closing realism of ‘The Son is Not the Father’, making its intentions honourable but nonetheless rooted in the truth that while forgiveness is attainable, it’s quite impossible to forget too.

Iconic in its demonstration of internal conflict, ‘ASD’ is A Skylit Drive’s step into their own future, leading instead of following.

4.5/5

’ASD’ by A Skylit Drive is out now on Tragic Hero Records.

A Skylit Drive links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)

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