AMBITIONS - Stranger

Ambitions - Stranger

13 songs
31:00 minutes
***** ****
Bridge Nine


With hardly any history to speak of, there is not much that can be said about Connecticut hardcore newcomers Ambitions, except that their name speaks for itself. Thirteen songs in only half an hour makes you fear for the worst, but once you’re past the intro, you’ll be surprised at the band’s fresh take at early-Nineties melodic hardcore music. This is neither some kind of metalcore offshoot nor primitive old school noise. Instead you get a good dozen mostly short songs that are carried by Jay Aust’s very expressive vocals, although the two guitarists also take care that there are no holes in the sound. Occasional gang shouts make for an altogether juicier atmosphere.

Located somewhere between Fugazi, Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand, Ambitions can pride themselves to have chosen a sound that is not very trendy at the moment, and just like their label mates Have Heart and Crime In Stereo, Ambitions stand out with their debut album. I even dare to say that they come across even better. Rarely have I heard such a fresh sounding debut album, and even the short running time doesn’t work against the band, as the brevity of their songs guarantees that there will be not a single moment of boredom. And a band that chooses the Boss as their Myspace top friend (although the Boss doesn’t return that favour) shows that they are more interested in meaningful songwriting than in aggressive poses. Friends of early Nineties DC punk rock will definitely faint at the excellence of Stranger.

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