ALBUM REVIEW: Pistols At Dawn – Ascension


Hot on the heels of last year’s four-track EP Nocturnal Youth, comes Pistols At Dawn’s latest album Ascension (JFL Entertainment). The Atlanta-based quintet’s sound is alternative-influenced hard rock, and their newest one Ascension is a promising if patchy, display of heavy grooves and soaring choruses with a brooding atmosphere.

This concise thirty-three-minute, the eight-track record starts off well with the heavy groove and grungy atmosphere of ‘Under The Surface’ – with its stomping, radio-ready chorus and its slick, and bassy production values. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash) did a good job of mixing melody to the crunching guitars and dark atmosphere – as evidenced by the driving rhythm and the hooky chorus of ‘Keep Me Guessing’. Fans of Shinedown and Disturbed will feel right at home – especially in the slick, earworm chorus of ‘For You’ with its thick groove and emotive lyrics about changing for someone you care about.

Alas, the second half of this compact album misses more than it hits, too many numbers meld into one another and lack the staying power of others. The dark, brooding atmosphere of ‘The Truth’, enlivened slightly by a lively solo, is pleasant but nondescript. ‘Gravity’ suffers a similar fate, its chunky bass gives way to a heavy atmosphere and a plodding beat – with a woozy solo piquing the interest slightly toward the end. ‘Get Away’ is the one shining moment in the second half, slow and measured verses accelerate towards a pacey, slightly punky chorus – showing some much needed vitality.

Alas, half the album misses more than it hits, as the dark and brooding aura drags things down in the second half, though this is still a promising album of slickly produced, alternative hard rock replete with hulking grooves, heavy guitars and big choruses.

Buy the album here:

6 / 10