Friday, April 1, 2016

Cassette Review: As Friends Rust "Greatest Hits?" (D'Kolektif)

[$10 //]

There are more times than not when I'll be sitting at the laptop with a thousand tabs open at once on Google Chrome plus all of these documents I'm typing into and a song will be stuck in my head so in order to get it out I have to sing it out.    This is when I will open Spotify because it is the convenience of that versus getting up and having to find a CD and put it into the laptop to play it.    When listening to As Friends Rust on Spotify recently I found that they had an album called "Greatest Hits?", which was released in 2015 and so I did a general google search for them to see if they either were going to make new music or more likely what new projects they might be part of now.

Their Facebook page brought me to their Big Cartel page which showed me that this was available on cassette and, well, you know how I feel about things coming full circle.   No, really, any band that I love that doesn't make music anymore who wants to release a greatest hits type of deal on cassette, I'll totally buy it.   (I'm looking in your direction, Drowningman)  While this was originally released on cassette by a label in Indonesia, As Friends Rust themselves had five copies for sale so you didn't have to worry about international shipping rates and whatever.    I don't know- sometimes I just feel better buying stuff from the band themselves anyway.

As Friends Rust existed in a different time.   They had releases on Equal Vision Records and Doghouse Records- two of my favorite record labels back when being on a record label mattered.    Aside from getting their songs stuck in my head at random times in my life still, here, ten plus years later, they have this hardcore intensity to their music.   I feel like there are bands out there right now making music that resembles pieces of nearly every band I've listened to before, but no one is making music right now where I'd say "This sounds a bit like As Friends Rust".   And they really did stand alone when they originally released these songs as well.

If you think music isn't about life lessons then you aren't involving it in your life enough.    Back in the early 2000's I had a Playstation 2 and was playing a WWE game- I think it was that Smack Down! Here Comes the Pain one with Brock Lesnar on the cover- and I was in season mode.    I was Brock Lesnar while the computer was Chris Benoit and we were facing off inside a steel cage.   I was being beaten because I wasn't able to get up in time to stop the computer from escaping the cage and even though I'd just reset the game without saving, thus playing the match again, I kept losing.

This growing frustration caused me to throw my controller, which headed towards the Playstation 2 itself and in the process it landed on my "Won" CD.   Now, I had this small television atop my dresser and then to the right of it were shelves where my CD player lived so it wasn't uncommon for me to lean a CD against the Playstation, but this CD had been sent to me as an advanced copy deal so it was in a paper-thin sleeve and my force of the controller hitting the Playstation 2 caused it to crack.    I was devastated.

In that moment, through the possession of material things, I learned to control my anger simply because I knew that letting my frustrations turn into something like that again could result in something I really cared about getting hurt.   Granted, this time it was a CD which could be replaced (And I did end up buying it in the full plastic case) but what if I was driving and crashed the car and killed a loved one?  There were just too many scenarios and I felt like an advanced copy of a CD was getting off light and so from that day forward I learned to keep my anger in check, for the most part.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about As Friends Rust though is not only did their music withstand the tests of time, it actually feels more relevant today than it did when it was actually released.    It could just be a sign of our times, that this country is getting worse, so their final EP in 2002 rings true with songs like "The Most Americanist", but I just feel like no one ever has and possibly never will again be able to capture the anger, the angst, the hardcore style of music with such melody and sing-along qualities.  

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