The fact that Phil Caivano (Monster Magnet) had a hand in the recording of this album is shown by each of the riffs that are found here; the seventies-influenced, dirty and gritty rock found on tracks like â€œAct Like You Knowâ€ and â€œFeeling Good Is Good Enoughâ€ share more than a passing glance with the aforementioned Monster Magnet. Also of note is Jasonâ€™s Danzig / Davey Havok style of vocals, which seem to have a natural fit with the style of music captured on the disc. Every cut on the disc has the potential to find its way onto mass media, but â€œJohn Wayneâ€ has a melody to it that is not paralleled anywhere else on the disc. Jasonâ€™s vocals link up perfectly with the guitar/drum dynamic to create something amazing.
The incorporation of California pop-punk into the bandâ€™s influences during â€œJohn Wayneâ€ is another smart move, as the other tracks immediately preceding it only show hints of this. ASG move beyond the rock/punk acts of the last decade; mixing together bands as diverse as Oasis, The Offspring and Corrosion of Conformity, ASG far outstrip the more-monolithic outlooks of bands like Three Days Grace. Something that seems to hamstring the band are their increasing use of lengthy instrumental lead-ins to later tracks; by slowing down the tempo ever so slightly, they give listeners more of a reason to switch off the disc. This is very present during both â€œThirsting For Moreâ€ and â€œYes, We Are Awareâ€. The plodding style of â€œThirsting For Moreâ€ may allow the bandâ€™s arrangement to shine (and their Fear Factory influence to become more pronounced), but really allows the disc to slow down to a snailâ€™s pace.
The disc does spin to a close a mite too early, as it feels as if the ultra-repetitive track â€œGoing Through Hellâ€, even with all of its guitar wankery was mailed in. There are a few solid tracks on â€œFeeling Good Is Good Enoughâ€, but the vast majority of the tracks present show a band that can create interesting-sounding music, but really not seal the day and pass on to the next plateau of popularity. The tracks may be groomed for popular radio, but there is nothing that will drive listeners en masse into the record stores to pick up â€œFeeling Good Is Good Enoughâ€. There are some seeds sown during this disc that may grow to make ASG a must-listen-to band, but based on what is present here, just pass.
Top Tracks: John Wayne, Dusty Roads
ASG â€“ Feeling Good Is Good Enough / 2005 Volcom / 11 Tracks / http://www.asgnation.com / http://www.volcoment.com / Reviewed 11 August 2005