Win Us Over

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ASG mix the best qualities of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age: the former's bluesy heft and the latter's pop focus. On their fourth full-length, Win Us Over, they hone this combination almost to perfection. While not purely metal -- the band isn't afraid to rock -- the riffs are stronger and catchier than the vast majority of stoner metal. That's because ASG write songs, not genre exercises. "Dream Song" soars on anthemic choruses; "Right Death Before" spits fiery harmonics and rumbling bass. The band unfurls huge, hip-swinging grooves in the aptly named "Low End Insight" and "Dull Blade." In the latter, tartly bent guitar harmonies evoke Metallica's "Orion." Even straightforward rockers like "Ballad of Richard K." push and pull with carnal verve. ASG also drop their guard ably; "A Number to Murder Two" suggests Simon & Garfunkel by way of Black Sabbath's hippie side, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers only wish they had a ballad as gorgeous as "Coffee Depression Sunshine." "Bombs Away" tugs at the heart strings with doomy weight, and nicely sums up this record. It's heavy, hummable, and as electric as its artwork.

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