Lawrence, KS quartet, Sweet Ascent, is a band that has been on our radar for a long time. Throughout their musical career, they’ve managed to plow through catchy pop-punk, post-hardcore angst and explosive, gritty rock anthems. While these guys have had some monumental ups and downs over their career, they’re ready to show that nothing’s getting them down with the release of their debut, full-length album Take It or Leave It. Coming off the heels of such an important EP as WAR has become, it’s hard to speculate as to what came next… and that element of surprise is exactly what’s going to push them to the next level. Take It or Leave It is 10-tracks of no-holds-barred, emotional heavy rock that will get you off your feet, tug at your heartstrings and get you singing along, effortlessly.
When the video for “My Life,” the first official single from the album, was released I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a band, you change and you grow as musicians, as songwriters and, thus, your sound begins to take twists and turns… however, I think these guys have found the perfect sound that fits them. With a band name like “Sweet Ascent,” there’s a certain irony to the music they release. In terms of a musical and lyrical standpoint, the band name is perfectly fitting as they continue to push messages of positivity and hope through sharing personal experiences and including a musical backdrop to match.
One of the biggest highlights of the album, though, is a song called “Dear Mom.” This is vocalist, Jordan T. Rebman, pouring his heart out to his mother. Through this, we get a soaring, anthemic ballad that is sure to hit an emotional chord and an extremely personal look into his struggles as an individual, as well as, a musician. With their biggest year of their career, thus far, the confidence booster that this track is, and the love poured into it, outshine just about everything on the album. While the pace for this track is slower than most, it explodes with everything you could want from these guys.
The whole album sees the band diving into a heavier, more riff-laden and rock-oriented direction headfirst. The result sees a lot of radio-friendly material that could be played along the biggest active rock hits of today. That’s not a bad thing, as the band is clearly seeking to branch out, in terms of sound, and fan base. What is really impressive about this album is the way that they’ve managed to put a ton of focus on the rhythm and percussion sections, perfectly balancing out Rebman’s incredible vocal range and creating a massive, arena-ready sound that is sure to catch on with fans of both their older and newer material. Most importantly, though, Take It or Leave It seeks to connect with fans on a personal level. No matter your struggle, this album reminds you that there is always a light at the end of that dark tunnel. Sweet Ascent will celebrate the release of Take It or Leave It in their hometown of Lawrence at The Bottleneck with special guests, The Dear Misses and Double Dog Dare… it’s sure to be a night to remember, so be sure to head out there if you are in the area! If you’re interested in hearing a little bit of what the album has to offer, though, check out “My Life,” “Overwhelmed” and “Safe to Say” below! After the release, they’ll be heading out on the road with ANSON, in support of the album and dates can be found below.