As A Rival released their third studio album, “The Only Way Out Is Together” on the 30th of September and after the lead up singles I’m pretty keen to give it a listen and share some thoughts.
The album was produced by As A Rival and Gavin Parker, recorded at Pony Music & Synaesthesia Studio, assistant engineered by Warwicke Newman, mixed & mastered by Gavin Parker. Artwork by Thrashwolf, art concept by Nathan Wheatley and layout by Pete Cerni.
When As A Rival released ‘Lost At Sea (4:18)’ on the 9th of May this year, it was the first new music we’d heard from the band since their 2018 album Griefers (which was awesome). The single displays the bands hard rock style and shows off their amazing songwriting talents and musical tightness. I really like the groove from the start and early on this song gave off some Grinspoon vibes until the pre chorus then it really became its own thing.
The next single was ‘All The Rage (2:58)’ released on the 16th of September. This single showed the punkier side of As A Rival and was accompanied with an animated lyric video. The video production was by Studio 27 Productions – https://www.youtube.com/mrstestereo
This song delivers on the rage both musically and lyrically, with a vocal delivery to match. This song could be described as a hardcore/skate punk song and I’m here for it. I love the scream from Pete a little after the two-minute mark (around 2:10), the back-up melodic vocal elements in the chorus parts fit perfectly. I really like the focus on the bass in the second verse, it felt like the natural direction for the song and the tone is on point.
‘The Only Way Out Is Together’ has a total of eleven tracks and shows the band are back sounding better than ever. ‘Converging’ (2:03) sits between the two lead-up singles and delivers the riffs, its tight as ever and the ending is so good.
If you listen to the album in full like I did, you may find track 4, ‘So Long’ (4:09) is a point of slow down, the song has alternative vibes and solid hooks. ‘Distractions’ (4:47) has a similar slow delivery pace but might be better described as hard rock. I really enjoyed ‘Skinlessness’ (3:22), which has a Tool sound. ‘Gravity’ (4:09) has some nice guitar parts and a catchy chorus. the song has a soft/heavy pattern with a hard rock sound.
‘Little Spark’ (3:20) and ‘Dental Plan’ (3:35) bring the tempo back up with some punk vibes. ‘Retreat’ (4:27) is another great song that offers another sound change before ‘Hammerhead’ (4:11) brings us back to the style we heard on the first track and was a solid choice for a closing track.
As A Rival is
Pete Cerni – Vocals/Guitar
Nathan Wheatley – Drums
Paul Trevorrow – Bass
Shane Evans – Guitar
I haven’t had a chance to take photos of the band yet, but here’s a good one taken by Jay Hynes Photo.
As A Rival will be playing some live shows in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria throughout November.
Friday November 4th at Hobart Brewing Co. with Verticoli and Brad Harbeck’s Great North
Saturday November 5th at Australian Italian Club Launceston
Saturday November 12th at The Hotel Metro Adelaide
Friday November 18th at The Old Bar Melbourne