‘Top 50 Albums Of 2013’ Countdown – #11: ASG – Blood Drive

By Andrew Bansal

North Carolina stoner rock band ASG released their fifth full-length album ‘Blood Drive’ via Relapse Records earlier this year. They’ve maintained a largely underground cult following through their 12-year existence thus far, and while this new album conforms to the musical styles they’ve pursued in the past, it’s strong, dynamic and diverse in a manner that has garnered them a new set of fans. Under the blanket of stoner rock, ‘Blood Drive’, incorporates elements of Southern rock and has a definite psychedelic vibe to it. In broader terms, the album is a cleaner, trippier and more melodic variant of stoner rock which comes as a breath of fresh air amidst the plethora of stoner albums released this year that stick to the darker, dirtier approach. Frontman Jason Shi’s incredibly compelling vocal delivery is the album’s standout feature, as is showcased on the initial part through tunes like ‘Avalanche’, ‘Blood Drive’ and ‘Day’s Work’, all the way through to the final track. The guitar work and rhythm section are both solid and with the help of an excellent production approach that lets the music breathe to its fullest, the album succeeds in its aim. ‘Blues For Bama’, ‘Earthwalk’ and ‘Children’s Music’ are the most psychedelic and progressive tunes on the album and aptly form its centerpiece. With this 46-minute, 12-track effort, the band has struck gold and their creativity has soared to new heights. ASG’s ‘Blood Drive’ is a mind-bending musical journey in every sense.

Track Listing:
1. Avalanche
2. Blood Drive
3. Day’s Work
4. Scrappy’s Trip
5. Castlestorm
6. Blues for Bama
7. Earthwalk
8. Children’s Music
9. Hawkeye
11.The Ladder
12.Good Enough to Eat

Duration: 46.4 minutes

Visit ASG on the web:

The countdown so far …
#50. Nails – Abandon All Life
#49. American Sharks – Self-Titled
#48. Hatebreed – The Divinity Of Purpose
#47. Helen Money – Arriving Angels
#46. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control
#45. Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen
#44. Church Of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum
#43. Wolvserpent – Perigaea Antahkarana
#42. Djinn And Miskatonic – Forever In The Realm
#41. Czar – No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive 
#40. Against The Grain – Surrounded By Snakes
#39. Nekrofilth – Devil’s Breath
#38. Kylesa – Ultraviolet
#37. The Devil’s Blood – III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars
#36. Kadavar – Abra Kadavar
#35. Purson – The Circle And The Blue Door
#34. Carousel – Jeweler’s Daughter
#33. Kvelertak – Meir
#32. SpiralArms – Freedom
#31. Satan – Life Sentence
#30. Exhumed – Necrocracy
#29. Havok – Unnatural Selection
#28. Mothership – Self-Titled
#27. UDO – Steelhammer
#26. Ramming Speed – Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die
#25. Revocation – Self-Titled 
#24. Gorguts – Colored Sands
#23. Kobra And The Lotus – Self-Titled 
#22. Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry Of Consciousness
#21. Saxon – Sacrifice 
#20. Noctum – Final Sacrifice
#19. Intronaut – Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)
#18. Scale The Summit – The Migration
#17. Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse
#16. Scorpion Child – Self-Titled
#15. Motörhead – Aftershock
#14. Holy Grail – Ride The Void
#13. Red Fang – Whales And Leeches
#12. Soilwork – The Living Infinite
#11. ASG – Blood Drive

Check out #10 here.