Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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The Assent

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Legbamel Not-Pop

“Thieves and cannibals aren't lazy”

I hate to pick on one particular band, but The Assent embodies all that is awkward about the unsigned band/indie movement spawned by digital music and editing software. The band's been together for three months and they've already released an EP. I'm not saying that they suck, because they don't, they just sound like they're still getting their sound together. The songs come off “same-y”, likely because they haven't yet had time to explore each other's ideas and abilities.

To be fair, it seems that the front man and the drummer have known each other for years. Also, the band had another name (D in Detroit) for a month or so before they became The Assent. Still, we're talking about a time span measurable in weeks. That rush shows in the production of the songs, wherein the drums often overwhelm the rest of the music and Clint Stoker's voice sometimes sounds strained by more than the emotion of the lyrics.

That said, The Assent does have some successful moments, particularly in Slipping, the best song off the EP and just a good song in general. (You can listen to the whole set on the band's MySpace profile.) They're competent musicians who simply need to keep touring and perfecting their sound. You'll find some interesting lyrics, some strong guitar and drums, and a guy who sounds a lot like a whole bunch of other guys.

They don't list any influences that I could find, which is a shame because I can't put my finger on who they sound like besides a good college band or ten whose shows I used to frequent. That may be because they are a good college band, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I hope that they'll give themselves time to develop their talents to complement each other while they're pushing so hard to get recorded. If you want to pick up their tunes in the meantime, head over to MadeLoud. You can't get a CD of the songs, but you can buy digital copies.

5 Responses so far.

  1. ~wes says:

    legbamel,

    This is Wes, the drummer of the Assent. I just wanted to say thanks for your honest review. I absolutely love hearing honest opinions about the Assent. I just wanted to tell you that I think you hit the nail on the head. We are very new and raw and trying so hard to run before we can walk. I knew going into the studio that our EP would reflect that. Our goal was not perfection. We didn't have the budget or the time for perfection but we felt that if we could produce a few songs that documented where we are today,that we could then begin to find our audience. Were hoping that this honest representation of our selves will be appreciated and also give the listeners a base line with which to gauge our progress when the next CD is released. As you expressed the accessibility of today's technology is allowing bands like us to get ourselves out to a world wide audience before we have had time to settle into our groove but for me personally, I think that's so cool! I love the fact that anyone who is interested can be part of our struggle. I love that anyone in the world can follow our little band from the beginning and live the adventure with us right through to it's end. I love the fact that a person living in ND is writing about our currently insignificant band because I know that we will take your opinion and use it to make ourselves better and because of all this wonderful technology, someone outside the walls of the cramped little room that we rehearse in, will get to see us grow and hopefully one day become the band that we dream of being.

  2. legbamel says:

    I love that you didn't get upset with my review! I was a little concerned about the tone but I really thought you folks were a great example of how MySpace and digital music are changing the way that people treat being in (and listening to) a new band. Thanks so much for the review request and the heart-felt comment.

  3. Clint says:

    Hey, this is Clint Stoker from The Assent. I also appreciate the review. I am excited that we are getting noticed even our mistakes. You wouldn't believe how fast we pumped out those songs in the studio. plan on hearing more of our stuff. hopefully it will be better.

  4. Clint says:

    Hey, this is Clint from The Assent. I also am happy to be getting reviews from people who don't know us personally. I am impressed with how much you know about us. We did push that ep out of the studio pretty fast. Hopefully the next one will be better. We have had a lot more experience with playing together since the EP was released. I know it hasn't been long but we do gig quite often.

    Thanks for being honest and helping us be better. One thing i have to mention though. The line from slipping is "Thieves and cannibals aren't lazy" It is a reference to U2's Bono. He is quoted saying "every poet is a theif and every artist is a cannibal".

    Thanks, Clint

  5. legbamel says:

    Thanks for that clarification. I changed the line in my post--I was going to strike through "are" and add "aren't" but thought that rather ruined the line. I look forward to hearing more from you guys. Thanks for popping in and leaving your two cents.

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