A decade: you might think of it as just 10 years. 10 years can hold a lot of weight, though, especially to bands. That’s 10 years of blood, sweat and tears. 10 years of struggle, 10 years of facing certain destruction at any moment. CA’s A Skylit Drive is the epitome of hard work. Since the release of their debut EP, She Watched the Sky, the band has paved their way through the post-hardcore scene, eventually climbing to soaring heights. This took several line-up changes, an unprecedented amount of uncertainty at times and perseverance like no other. Here we are in 2015, the band has just released their 5th studio album and they’re proving that they aren’t going anywhere. At one time, these guys were just naive teenagers who hungered to get their music heard. Now, they’re seasoned professionals, continuing to give it their all, each and every day. Even more impressive is that they haven’t gotten caught up in gimmicks, nor do they need them, to sell records. Their latest album is simply titled ASD. Some might call it a self-titled record and, perhaps it is. What it is, more than anything, is the band finding their identity. They’ve spent years trying to capture the sound that they’ve wanted to create and it shines through, bigger than ever, on this album. Vocalists Michael Jagmin (Clean) and Michael Labelle (Screams) have never been more impressive with their delivery! What makes this album worth your time, though?
Starting with the lead single, “Bring Me A War,” this album comes out of the gate swinging. Whether you like the catchy, new-found “poppy” style the band has adopted in recent material or, perhaps you enjoy something more along the lines of Wires… and the Concept of Breathing, this track is the best of both worlds. Not only does it deliver something infectious and beautiful, it’s equally ferocious, creating a massive molotov cocktail of brilliance. This track touches on the concept of fighting for what you believe in, never giving up and never giving in until you’ve reached your dreams. Guitarists Nick Miller and Labelle deliver some incredible riffs throughout this track that will easily get stuck in your head. Not to mention the infectious chorus, delivered by Jagmin, it’s not hard to see why fans are really loving this one.
If you prefer the heavier sound from this CA quintet, fear not. They more than deliver that with “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.” This track has a dark tone to it, rightfully so. It’s a track about how insomnia can envelop your mind, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. When you first listen to it, you’re lured in by a seemingly fun riff before you get punched in the face. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album because it hits you so hard, unexpectedly. The breakdown seems like it would be a blast live, too!
Maybe you want something along the lines of a typical post-hardcore song, complete with emotional lyrics and a catchy hook? Try “Find a Way” out for size. This track equally balances some of the more impressive higher-range screams that Labelle can muster, while keeping an insanely upbeat vibe by way of Jagmin’s clean vocal parts. In addition, it’s got some interesting guitar parts. I feel that this is a track that’s centered on a poisonous relationship. Whether that’s a romantic relationship, a family relationship or perhaps a former member of the band… I’m not 100% sure. It’s about standing up for yourself, convincing yourself that enough is enough and severing that tie before it ruins your life. No matter how many times you try to convince that person that they’re doing something wrong, they never seem to change, forcing you to cut those ties, as much as it may hurt. It lets you know that letting go is perfectly fine, you will ALWAYS find your way in the end.
This October release was one of the most impressive that I’ve heard this year, claiming a very high spot in my albums of the year list (keep an eye out for that on December 27th.) ASD is an album for the fans, the band and anyone who has ever struggled. It’s a way of telling you that music will always have your back, even when no one else seems to. This album is a clear thank you to everyone who has ever played a part in their lives, regardless of the outcome and shows them at the top of their game. Don’t miss out, pick up your copy of ASD, out on Tragic Hero Records now!
Catch them on the “Hate Me” tour with Escape the Fate, Sworn In, Myka, Relocate and Sirens & Sailors:
11/3 — Atlanta, Ga. — The Masquerade
11/5 — Oklahoma City, Okla. — 89th Street Collective
11/6 — Houston, Texas — Walters
11/7 — Dallas, Texas — Gas Monkey
11/8 — Austin, Texas — Dirty Dog
11/9 — San Antonio, Texas — Korova
11/10 — El Paso, Texas — Mesa Music Hall
11/11– Phoenix, Ariz. — Joes Grotto
11/12 — Las Vegas, Nev. — Vinyl @ Hard Rock Hotel
11/13 — Santa Cruz, Calif. — The Catalyst
11/14 — Hollywood, Calif. — The Whisky
11/15 — San Diego, Calif. — Soma
11/13 — Anaheim, Calif. — Chain Reaction
11/14 — San Francisco, Calif. — DNA Lounge
11/15 — Chico, Calif. — Senator Theatre
“Bring Me A War” (Official Music Video)
A Skylit Drive is:
Nick Miller – Guitar
Kyle Simmons – Bass/ Keyboards
Brandon “Rage” Richter – Drums
Michael Labelle – Guitar/Vocals