sASSafrASS – Greatest Hits Volume One – Album Review
With what takes top-prize as easily the best band name I’ve seen since Balls Deep In Your Stepmom – the energetic rock explosion of sASSafrASS is a purely pleasurable experience. This album flows cohesively from end to end, drifting seamlessly from the playful-pop edge of rock to the thundering massive stadium sounds of anthem-rock to the tongue-in-cheek style & attitude of punk, shifting effortlessly from sound to sound.
Whichever of those particular sounds you like the most might dictate which of these become your instant favorites upon those first listens; but you can also count on sASSafrASS to bring a infectiously fun attitude and a seriously fun vibe throughout their music on each & every track. To me…this is like the B-52’s on acid. No wait….I’ve got it now…. This is like the B-52’s on waaaaaay more acid than they were probably ALREADY taking. Yeah – that’s better; now we can continue…
Take myself for example…I can’t get enough of one of the later tunes on the album, “Crack Whore Baby;” this song totally echoes right out of the riot grrrrrrrrrrl (Too many rrrr’s? Not enough?) movement, with vocalist/bass player Tish Ciravolo at her most engaging, focused & full-on confident. The track itself is as punk as punk can get, especially with its pre-chorus chant of “One, two, fuck you!” This cut is a complete mover…and the perfect way to end the album!
But perhaps we should rewind a tad here…god I’m old…I’m mean press-play again on your new-fangled giberrty-gadgets and let’s start this off right…
“Dirge” sets this album up though a subtle beginning, based in a melodic-rock. You can hear the opening menace in this track; it just wants to explode…ticking along with the hi-hats and the drums. Quickly switching into “The Majesty Of Rock,” you get a nearly Tenacious D feeling in this track as they put the instruments to work and do what they do best as they crank up the intensity and energy at the outset of this album. The advantage of Greatest Hits Volume One is that sASSafrASS doesn’t have to ever let the energy drop by roaming through a selection of ripping tunes to make the core of this album. True to that statement, follow-up tracks “Slave Girl,” and “Pink Slip” show the punk side completely revealed as they continue to drive the album faster & harder into your ears.
Now…if you didn’t buy my B-52’s theory yet….”Cherry Bomb.” I need not say more, but I will of course… You gotta appreciate tracks like this where you can hear the absolute love, passion & enthusiasm for the music; sASSafrASS is clearly having a good time – and as a result, so too, am I. As ‘silly’ as a track like this might seem at times, you can’t ignore the fact that the guitars are incredible, drums perfect, bass as well – and THEN you get the vocals which are having a completely genuine good time.
The switch halfway through “Back Off” is one of my absolute favorite moments on this album. The second-gear that this particular track finds is just perfect…again, taking it back to the grunge/punk sounds of the riot grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl (I think that’s about the right about of r’s…..) or perhaps even the current sounds found in bands like Tweens.
Just before like lusciously energetic “Crack Whore Baby,” which you already know I love…you get another tasty, tasty punked-out treat in “Touch Too Much.” Now – I wouldn’t be doing my job if I couldn’t identify a well-known track like this, and I wouldn’t even have a beard if I didn’t listen to rock all day…so let me just say firsthand, this is definitely an extremely worthy cover of the classic AC/DC tune by a band that clearly understands their underlying subtext and raunchy, all-out-fun attitude.
You gotta hand it to this band from LA…they keep the energy flowing and the good times coming at full speed with real heart & passion in their craft that can’t be mistaken for anything other than the genuine love of the music they’re making. That’s one contagious & beautiful feeling, and they captured it perfectly on Greatest Hits Volume One.
Find out more about’em! https://www.facebook.com/sassafrasskicksass
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