In 2003, a small five-piece from California named A Static Lullaby released their debut album, …And Don’t Forget To Breathe, on Ferret Records and where one of the first bands to make the “sing-scream” pattern huge. Forget To Breathe was a gateway album for many people, as it was the first album kids heard of this style. As they developed a devout following, they signed to major label Columbia records and released what we would call the sophomore slump. ASL released Faso Latido in 2005 and switched up their style a bit, making their sound more rock-orientated. Needless to say, this blew up in their face; they were dropped by Columbia and were near breaking up. 3 original members – bassist/vocalist Phil Pirrone, drummer Brett Dinovo, and guitarist Nate Lindeman – quit the band to pursue other projects, leaving the other two members, vocalist Joe Brown and guitarist/vocalist Dan Arnold in a tight spot. Instead of retiring A Static Lullaby for good, they recruited three new members – guitarist John Death, bassist Dane Poppin, and drummer Jarrod Alexander – and signed to a new label (Fearless) to release their self-titled third album. Produced by Steve Evetts (Saves The Day, He Is Legend, Lifetime), A Static Lullaby is a return to their roots; Brown’s scream dominates many tracks and the song structures closely follow those of Forget To Breathe. This album is meant to bring back their old fans, which this album succeeds at doing.
“Hang ‘Em High” begins the album with a spacey electronic sound that rushes into Brown’s maniacal screaming of “This is life in a car crash/can we make it out alive?” The guitars are the driving force behind the track and Alexander shines on the kit. “Contagious” begins with a booming guitar and drum combo which flows into Arnold’s melodic voice. The chorus is reminiscent of Faso Latido, while the ending of the song is more in the vein of Forget To Breathe. “Annexation Of Puerto Rico” is a raucous track that grabs a hold of your throat and never lets go. “Art Of Sharing Lovers” showcases the band’s balance between melody and chaos, and the riffing in this song is good. “The Collision” is a slower yet more powerful track that reminds me a bit of “A Sip Of Wine Chased With Cyanide” from the first album. “Trigger Happy Tarantula” and “Life In A Museum” keep up the pace of the album, while “Eager Cannibals” features the slow verse followed by the hard hitting chorus method. “Stare In The Air” is a fine display of Brown’s unforgiving scream as the guitars piledrive into your ear drums. The rowdy “Static Slumber Party” gets your pulse pumping, while the album closer “Mechanical Heart” takes it down a few notches. It begins with a moody drawn out guitar tone and mid paced drumming. Arnold calmly sings over this, while the chorus has a very dramatic buildup and the guitars spiral and needle their way through the song all the way to the very haunting end.
For those who’ve bought this album already, you’ve probably already noticed the sticker that has us, AbsolutePunk.net, claiming this to be “the best ASL release to date.” I am here to back up this claim. A Static Lullaby is the evolution of …And Don’t Forget To Breathe. The only pitfalls to the album are that at points, the album sounds repetitious, as the middle of the album can begin to blend together. Also, the overall sound of this album is nothing new but ASL does a fine job at making it enjoyable to listen to, rather than sounding like all of the other dime a dozen imposters. While the debut album will hold nostalgic value for some, once you listened to the new album a few times, it’s plain as day that A Static Lullaby has matured and improved on their songwriting. Faso Latido was just a bump in the road, as the new album proves. The self titled album is nothing groudbreaking or life changing, but it’s a fun as hell record to rock out to. It’s time to jump back on the bandwagon because the A Static Lullaby that we first knew and loved so much is back.