Corrosion Of Conformity, ASG, Royal Thunder, Thinning The Herd

Corrosion Of Conformity

Formed in the North Carolina coastline community of Wrightsville Beach in 2001, the riff-fueled, distortion-driven rock of ASG that can be found on their latest effort has actually been at the band's core since its inception.
Initially forming as a three-piece instrumental project, due to the lack of a dedicated vocalist, ASG were intensely focusing on devising tight, driving guitar riffs, locking guitarist Jason Shi in with the rhythm section of bassist Andy Ellis and drummer Scott Key.

But as time passed and no vocalist was found, Shi was eventually forced to step up to the mic. With Shi becoming more comfortable as a frontman, the group found themselves connecting with Volcom Entertainment, who signed the band and put them in the studio in 2003, to record their debut album, ...The Amplification of Self Gratification.

In 2005 ASG found themselves in a proper studio with proper producers, Matt Hyde and Phil Caivano, recording their sophomore album, Feeling Good Is Good Enough, an album that summoned all the band's potential and spawned a thunderous hard rock creation that equaled what the band had been working towards for the past 3 years.

Shortly after completing Feeling Good Is Good Enough, second guitarist, Jonah Citty, was added to help recreate the album's sounds live, which was none too soon as the band quickly found themselves on the road with the likes of The Sword, Torche, Dwarves, and CKY.

In June 2007 ASG returned to Los Angeles to record their fourth album, entitled Win Us Over, with Matt Hyde again.
Win Us Over, is a vivid, psychedelic, and panoramic thrust that is just as much for the ears as it is for the aura; an experience in a colorful and dense cloth of abrasiveness.

Big beefy guitar riffs and melodic foreboding are soaked in Southern roadhouse whiskey, that just might be laced with psilocybin, and are hazed out through a kaleidoscopic squall that packs a walloping sonic punch.

While the ingredients of stoner rock, psychedelic metal, and angst-ridden punk rock are apparent, ASG doesn't fit under any particular category. Be you a fan of plain ol' rock and roll and don sleeveless flannels while sucking down 22 ouncers and gettin' rowdy - or enjoy waxin' deep on the bong, Win Us Over lives up to it's namesake and ensures that come January 22nd 2008, ASG won't be knocking on any doors; they'll be knocking them down.

Win Us Over is available now!

“WICK is different, a bigger jump as far as our sound goes, but it’s still us, it’s just the sound of Royal Thunder’s evolution...” –Josh Weaver, Royal Thunder

“Out of all of the albums, WICK was the hardest one to make. It was a fight, but to hear it now, to see it finished, is so gratifying. Finally it’s over, it’s amazing to be done with it.I’m looking at it, going you’re done, it’s over, go away...” –Mlny Parsonz, Royal Thunder

It’s 2017 and after making perhaps the toughest album of their career, Royal Thunder are coming out swinging. The Atlanta based four-piece (Mlny Parsonz –bass/vocals, Josh Weaver –guitar, Evan Diprima –drums, Will Fiore –guitar), once memorably described as playing, ‘a revved-up Southern hard rock that howls like Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn’, are, with WICK, reaching their tipping point. Following 2007’s self-titled EP (reissued four years later by Relapse Records), 2012’s CVI and 2015’s critically acclaimed Crooked Doors, Royal Thunder’s fourth release is an accumulation of shared experience, musical and otherwise, making art out of adversity and imbued with a new melodic succinctness that’s borne out of a band who’ve spent the last few years growing up together.

“There is no way we could have made this album even three years ago,” says Josh Weaver, “We’re all going through so many changes in our lives.We had people who had passed away during this album, that was a catalyst for how this record turned out. It wasn’t easy to record, but it was absolutely worth it.Thank god that we had this vehicle to make an album, and to put our soul in to.”

“It was a very cathartic experience,” agrees Mlny Parsonz, “There were times where I’d be dancing in the vocal booth and there were times when I’d have my hands in my pockets, shoved in as far as they could go, so angry or frustrated with the song, or just frustrated generally.”

In 2005, Josh’s vision for a fledging Royal Thunder (a version of the band that played exclusively instrumental material) was shared only with a best friend and his brother. A mere two years later they’d have eclipsed that notion, revamped the line-up,and created their warmly received Royal Thunder EP. “When we were in the studio this time”, says Miny, “We went back and listened to that stuff and we laughed and made fun of ourselves pretty good.”

The 2011 reissue of their EP would be quickly followed a year later by the startling CVI, though no one would have expected the genre-defying Crooked Doors that appeared in 2015. Impossible to pin down, it was the sound of a band finding not just their feet, but their voice. Beautifully uplifting yet mired in heartache, it showcased the band’s ever evolving (that word again) song-writing skills as well as what sounded like notes from Mlny’s personal diary. Tempestuous and down at heel, it was the most complete record the band had made to date.

“I decided to just pour my heart out on that record”, says Miny with a rueful laugh, “And there were suddenly all these interpretations of that record. I was like, what? That’s not really quite right... So I guess I didn’t really trust how this one would get interpreted.”

Which brings us to this year’s WICK, more allegorical and metaphorical it might be, but it retains Crooked Doors yearning and majesty while offering a more succinct and melodic version of the band. Though no one’s lead them here, production and recording processes remain the tried and trusted routes close to home that Royal Thunder have always favoured, this is the sound of a band that have grown and are growing together.

“It did just happen, it was very natural”, says Josh, “We’ve never wanted to sound like anyone else.We’ve grown a lot since the last record. We’ve experienced life, we’ve experienced loss.It all goes in the pot and makes it what it is.

“Listen to a song like Plans, where it’s mainly vocals with some guitar and drums.It’s a beautiful song, we’re very proud of it and I think it fits on what is our most diverse album hands down, which I love. It is a beautiful thing for us to be comfortable to do anything we want at any point.”

“I remember us thinking that song was not so great at first,” says Miny, “But we pushed ahead with it, this idea of being in your own head and in doing so you’re getting in the way of things, being your own worst enemy, destroying something for no good reason.”

The haunting April Showers is a paean to “watching someone struggle through life and kind of understanding what their demons are”, while the undulating The Sinking Chair "encompasses all that frustration I was talking about.Get your ass up, quit sinking in that chair! I sang that one with my hands up on the wall of the vocal booth, clawing the foam in there!”

For now, WICK will carry the band’s ambition and imprint out into the world.

“Whatever we do, it still has our fingerprint on it.” says Josh. “Music has become our lives. We’re pretty much all chips in. We just love music so much—it’s a part of us.We want to make music that moves people.”

Prepare to be moved.

Thinning The Herd

New York based trio THINNING THE HERD's brand of hard driving, original psychedelic rock has been praised by many, including Guitar Player Magazine; likening them to the MC5 and the Velvet Underground.


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