Monday, October 15, 2012

Review of "Golden Eagle" by Ambassador Gun

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Buy this album
(link available on the 23rd)

1. Wounded Knee
2. Christbastard
3. Slowbled
4. Warpainted
5. Sunshine Acid
6. Cover Tracks/Sever Ties
7. Crack Ikon
8. Chris Brown
9. Unleashed
10. Circle The Lord Of Flies
11. No Suffering

Minnesota-based grind outfit AMBASSADOR GUN are amped and ready to release their second full-length record "Golden Eagle” on their new label, Prosthetic Records. The band stated, “We are fucking psyched to be a part of the Prosthetic roster. This is a reputable and integral label in heavy music with amazing bands, and we’re grateful for the opportunity.”

AMBASSADOR GUN, whose name stems from a certain style of sunglasses for pilots, was formed by high school buddies Tim Sieler and Luke Olson. After having both played in similar punk and metal bands throughout the mid-'90s, the pair relocated to Minnesota in 2000. "From there," Olson recalls, "we started to write a lot of psychedelic, experimental metal in the vein of Neurosis and Today Is The Day and somehow blended it with the stylings of Slayer and old-school Hatebreed."

This led to the 2007 release of their first EP, “The Streets Have Eyes” (This Dark Reign Recordings). It was not until 2009, however, that the band released their first full-length studio album, “When In Hell,” through Pangea Recordings/Relapse Records. “We had a new enthusiasm to write short, grind–punk-metal songs,” said Olson. After a few line-up changes, drummer Patrick Ruhland joined the band for the release of the 2010 EP “Fear and Coercion." Olson stated, “This guy is a blastbeat metronome. Writing, demoing and recording have been amazing!”

2011 proved to be a busy year for the newly regrouped band, as it saw the release of a 7-inch titled “Rich” through Minor Bird Records as well as a split EP with Milwaukee thrashers Enabler. “We were looking for another band to do a split with," Olson says. "Jeff from Enabler has been a good friend of ours for years now and heard we were looking from our buddy Logan, who was then playing guitar for Enabler.” Both bands were recorded over a weekend at Tim Seiler’s studio, The Gun Range, in March of 2011, and the split was released on cassette and digitally in June of the same year. The split also earned Ambassador Gun a spot opening for Enabler on a recent East Coast tour, one of several DIY-style treks that have seen the group also perform with the likes of Gaza, In Defence, Today Is The Day, After The Burial, Otep, Dead To Fall, Red Sparowes and several more.

Now aligned with Prosthetic, the trio is set to deliver a heavy-hitting album that will feature each individual element that makes AMBASSADOR GUN unique – a mix of grindcore with death metal-infused thrash, blended with some punk and crust elements. This unique blend will form the upcoming release “Golden Eagle,” due out October 23. According to Olson, "Golden Eagle" was an album title and a concept before most of the tracks were even written. Some (but not all) of the album lyrics center on Native American culture at the turn of the 19th century ("Theft, murder, harassment, duress, war," Olson says). The band tracked the album themselves and self-produced. Olson stated, “We had all intentions this time to record and mix the album ourselves. From the start, we knew we wanted a raw and crusty tone with a lot of mid. In the past we’ve worked with some amazing people including Steve Austin, Adam Tucker and Jeff Halland, but I felt the three of us had a certain sound we needed conceptually for this record. Tim Sieler captured everything we set out to hear and it came out great."

Coming out of the gate with the first track, “Wounded Knee,” you know what to expect for the rest of the album. It is very fast paced and grindy and the vocals are really fitting. I kind of wish the quality was a bit better so the guitar were less screechy. “Christbastard,” is very short track and like the drumming on it, there were some dirty rolls. The next track, “Slowbled,” is a really mosh inducing track. It makes me want to go around harassing the elderly. The slower bit to play the track out is kind of groovy.

“Warpainted” brings an awesome flow with the drums and guitar. It gives off a great old school grind feel in its style. The next track, “Sunshine Acid,” sure makes you feel as if you are on exactly that with the great groove riffs and faster punch to the face bits. The vocals are pretty good too. Bringing a great mix of ear bleeding riffs and slower head bobbing parts is the next track, “Cover Tracks/Sever Ties.” Blast beats, drum fills, and noisy riffs follow in the shape of “Crack Ikon.” What more can you ask from a grindcore band.

The next track is titled “Chris Brown,” and I really wish I could understand the vocals because I have a feeling they are very funny considering the title name. The vocal on this are pretty cool with the backing vocals. “Unleashed,” follows with infant punching inducing riffs and drums with a chilled out drum break in the middle. I really liked the hard to follow drum patterns and dirty riffs on the track, “Circle The Lord Of Flies,” as they make for a fun time. Ending off the album is the longest track, “No Suffering.” It brings a very punk style with the drums and guitar. The vocals are great, mixing between the main and backing. There is a very sludgy breakdown in the middle and an awesome solo of the grindy nature.

I would definitely recommend this album to those straight up grindcore listeners. The quality makes it hard to listen to, but it doesn’t make it unbearable. I still think this is a great album. Coming in at only a half an hour long, a listen to decide whether or not you like this album will not be a tasking feat. You should at least give it a listen once!

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