As someone who reviews albums, I tend to discover a lot of bands. Some are hit and miss, some are decent, some are AWFUL and others… well, they blow me away! Through doing this, I’ve discovered bands like From Ashes to New (Eleven Seven Label Group/Better Noise Records), She Pulled the Trigger (unsigned), Shaping the Legacy (Legend Recordings) and many, many more. Today, I’d like to talk about an incredible band from our neighbors up north in Canada. Their name? AARSEN. Fluidly moving back and forth from the active rock, metalcore and post-hardcore genres… they’re unlike anything I’ve heard in a long while. Clocking in at just 18:02, their new EP Satellites (recorded with Luc Teller), will leave you begging for more. However, for those with short attention spans (like most of the world), it will reel you in and hold you there until the bitter end.
A slow, spacey and atmospheric part fades into bouncy guitars to kick off the EP with “Living Dead.” What I’ve found interesting about this track is, though the band’s vocalist seems to be quite proficient in both his ability to sing cleanly and scream… this is one of the only tracks to feature the screams. A poppy chorus and catchy hook, outside of the low-register screams, are the highlights of this track. I could easily see this track being played on any US rock radio station, sans-screams, and doing very well.
The pace gets picked up to near-punk level with “Voices,” which features a very memorable opening guitar riff. As this track chugs along, we start to get a better idea of how cohesive this band is. During the chorus, the pace is slowed down a bit and it becomes clear how in-tune with one another this band is. There is a pop-punk air about this track, that sets it apart from the rest of the EP and shows a bit of a different side. On the instrumental side, we even hear a guitar solo about midway through that, while short, is well-placed and fairly impressive.
The atmospheric, spacey nature of this EP is probably one of the things that makes me come back to it so often. As I write this review, I’ve probably listened to it upwards of 50 (or more) times. The production value, coupled with the band’s talent, give it such a huge, accessible sound. Never is this more apparent than the title track, “Satellites,” though. This track is a bit slower-paced but it gives the listener a perfect example of just what the band was going for with their sound on this EP. Having released 3 EPs to date, prior to their new effort, they’ve continued to push the envelope with their sound… and it’s evident just how far they’ve come since their humble beginnings in 2006.
For those who like gang vocals, the final track on the EP, “Gates,” will appeal to you. Ending on a heavier note, this track has a high contrast of angst and aggression. While there are some somber moments on this album, this track does a good job of combining a faster-paced, more explosive sound, incorporating screams and having the majority of the clean vocals layered, or in gang form. It will do a wonderful job of keeping the listener’s attention and is the perfect way to end the album.
There is a lot to be said of this album but I’ll wrap it up by stating that there’s a little something for everyone here. I’ve fallen in love with this band’s sound, aesthetic and overall presence and hope to see them head stateside some day soon. Check out the official music video for “Satellites” and pick up your copy today! You won’t be disappointed!