Problem With Dragons - Ascendant Album Review/Stream [Global Zero Records 2019]
About The Band
Formed way back in 2007, this Massachusetts based stoner and alternative metal trio have been doing it their own way for over a decade. With an extremely wide range of influences including hardcore punk, grunge, and classic hard rock, this band is a true melting pot of sounds and styles.
As soon as the record starts with the opening track ‘The Omicron’, two things become immediately apparent:
The first of which is the fun throwback to a 90s style of grunge and sludge. The band pulls it off moderately well.
The second thing, that hits you immediately, is the admittedly poor production value.
The mix is all over the place, and not in a good way, but as a still relatively underground band, they get a pass. Throughout the entire record, the band keeps the same sound for much of the time, only really differing for short moments here and there. This constant use of the same tones does begin to wear on the ears after a little while, but the charm of the 90s aesthetic does its best to make up for that.
At its best, ‘Ascendant’ is a moderately enjoyable stoner experience with some well-implemented grunge infused vocals added in for good measure. At its worst, the album is a tedious drag of similar-sounding riffs and ideas. It’s clear that Problems With Dragons have a lot of talent, but unfortunately, much of it seems to go unused for this project. That’s not to completely discredit the record, however, as it still does act as a somewhat fun 90s throwback for fans of that sound, albeit a slightly unimpressive attempt in the grand scheme of things.
If you’re like me and really do enjoy the 90s grunge characteristics, then this relatively short album may be worth a listen, although better 90s throwback alternatives are certainly out there. If you’re looking for anything more, you may want to pass on this output.