ARTIST: As A Rival
Few can rival the fire that Melbourne rockers As A Rival bring to the party, and their upcoming second full-length 'Griefers' is an assertive adventure that grips, rips and leaves you hanging on its every move.
The result of a challenge to complete 50 demos in a two month period, the 12 final tracks on 'Griefers' convey not only the clear evolution since As A Rival's previous 2016 release 'By Design', but also their clear control over a broad spectrum of punk, rock and beyond. And following some internal challenges, the quartet comprised of Pete Cerni (vox/guitar), Nathan Wheatley (drums), Johnny Beech (guitar) and Paul Trevorrow (bass) have risen from the ashes and are ready to rival the rock world with their ferocious precision.
And ferocity is definitely a prevailing flavour across 'Griefers', hurling out of the gates with 'Broken Compass' boasting a deluge of riffs and tight rhythmics, before jumping into punkier waters with the short and sweet 'Orbital'. Following from here is a collection of dynamic and energetic concoctions, with blazing rock anthems ('Atomic Bomb', ) and rollicking ragers ('Coup de Main', 'Factory', 'Head In The Clouds') dominating proceedings.
Lead single 'Bring Out The Dead' pummels with its coursing beats and rock god vocals from Pete Cerni, while 'What We Got' brings a distorted beauty amid the more upbeat tracks. Closing out proceedings is some burly angst courtesy of 'In The Gutter', before 'Divide Us' gets some gritty feels stirring with its pounding beats, wailing guitars and bittersweet hope in rising up when life kicks your ass.
'BRING OUT THE DEAD' (AS A RIVAL)
There's plenty of grit and grunge to sink your teeth into with 'Griefers', with its brawling vibes guided by Tom Larkin (Shihad) with Sam K Sproull and Jon Grace, and its sonic soul reflected in the overall themes driving the album, as frontman Pete explains: "We go through life meeting people. Connecting with them. Let them in, share with them our passions, our dreams. Some people glide in and out naturally, but others will smile at you while they fight to destroy everything you’ve built. 'Griefers' encompasses the hurt you have to face to crawl out of the mess and deal with the aftermath. Life is about the fight for what you believe in. 'Griefers' acknowledges these trying times - the times when you do fall but that it’s ok, as long as you climb even higher as a result".
Ultimately, As A Rival will kidnap your ears and soul to riff-city with their latest venture; 'Griefers' is a defiant and polished evolution from a band who aren't afraid to diverge from expectations, and it's a howling look into a bright future for this rocking quartet.
'Griefers' officially releases on Friday 2nd November with pre-orders live now. For more info, head to: www.asarival.com.
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BY TIANA SPETER