Hailing from the historical coastal town Hastings in the South-West of England, this Psychedelic Rock/ Metal band took its name from the popular naval commander of the late 17th - early 18th century, and formed in 2008 as a power trio with a line-up of drummer Bill Darlington, bassist Louis Comfort-Wiggett (formerly of Bronco Bullfrog) and singer (say shouter)/ guitarist Johnny Gorilla...but have apparently been friends for ages beforehand, “...their lineage including more Neo-Psych, Garage, Freakbeat and Powerpop combos than you could stake a stick at” (citation from the label's info sheet).
Stylistically, the trio turns back the clock a near 4 decades, to the age of post-hippie-ism which was still plaguing British youngsters around 1974-1975. A state of mind which is actually still very popular amongst contemporary youth in Spain, and so it's no surprise that the band went off on a tour in Catalunya as early as May 2009...and left an indelible impact on those whom witnessed the band's shows back then. Somehow, word got out to Rise Above Records, whom went on to release the band's 2011 debut 7-inch “Return To Zero”/ “Day After Day”. The hot platter sold out in no time and, if you're looking to get one of the 300 released copies now, you'll have to bid up to £100 for your copy on eBay! That is, if there's still find anyone out there silly enough to let his/ her copy go...because, you see, both tracks are quite exclusive to the single!!!
To understand what all that buzz is about, one needs to get an understanding of this band's exhilarating sound, which takes the listener back to days when music was far more simple, yet also far more effective in the affecting factor! Meaning, that songs, both lyrically and musically, would linger in one's mind far longer than they do these days (well, part of that modern-day aloofness has of course to do with the fact that the music business simply has too big an output these days, but still...back in the days a band was far more recognizable). Turning towards descriptions given by other music journalists before me, there has apparently been one dude whom gave ASCS' music a “Classic Rock” tag, a mistake which was rectified in adroit way by music icon Julian Cope, whom described the band as a “Proto-Metal” band, likening them to Dust, The Litter-era Emerge, and NYC's Sir Lord Baltimore. The label's info sheet gives an even better idea, in bringing a story wherein we stumble into an 18 year-old male's bedsit, around 1973, and find albums by Status Quo, Budgie, and Black Sabbath piled up next to the gramophone player, with the opening bars of The Groundhogs' “Cherry Red” blowing from the speakers (the actual story is far longer, but I've limited myself to the musical surroundings here).
Well, the Budgie, Black Sabbath, and The Goundhogs allusions are what did it for me, as far as comparisons go. Recordings are a fair picture of what one might expect in live conditions, although in the case of some solo parts an extra rhythm guitar is audible here, but...as compared for instance to the The Shrine album (review posted a couple of weeks ago) is a far more honest rendition! A funny detail : halfway the album the band brings a short (only 49 seconds long) instrumental, which is in fact the basic riff for the album closing “Killer Kane”. I should say...”official” album closer...because the CD has a ghost track entitled “Bean Stew”, starting some 7 minutes after the aforementioned one. More interesting stuff (and food for your next eBay searches) : the album was also released, in limited edition, on 12-inch vinyl...with addition of the exclusive 7-inch Die Hard single...and of course it is no longer available from the label, being sold-out! Now, one might expect that, in a couple of years, all that “exclusive” stuff will probably find its way to some (CD) compilation...but thé question is, are you willing to take a risk on that? Anyway, whatever modernists tell you about the clarity of sound of the cd-player, there was (and still is) something far warmer about playing vinyl records!
Check this band out if you're into your typical mid-70s era Post-Psych Rock!