A Static Lullaby has been getting a lot of good press recently. After listening to “…And Don’t Forget to Breathe”, their first LP, it’s easy to see why. ASL isn’t just another emo band from Southern California, full of whiney sentiments and minor chords. Produced by Steve Evetts of Snapcase and Hatebreed fame, “Breathe” packs a hardcore punch that rips through all eleven tracks like a cruise missile through Saddam’s palace. Joe Brown’s searing vocals slash their way through the stop-start wall of guitars and feedback before giving way to choruses that contain kernels of melodically heartfelt sentiments.
While so many hardcore/metalcore acts suffer from a lack of ingenuity, ASL does their best to defy conventions, adding line after line of introspective and thought provoking elements to their original sound. The second track, “Love to Hate, Hate to Me” begins with metal riffs and a punishing beat before Brown sings, “Read the tale of my desire, a book of hate / 1000 volts for every smile you gave me…remember me for the times I ruined you”. Clearly, one could get the idea that ASL are another band full of angry young guys, pissed about girls, friends, etc. However, glimmers of humanity and hope shine through time and again on “Breathe”, allowing the album to transcend any attempt to pigeonhole it. Fans of Thrice will definitely want to check this one out.