Music Reviews

The Assistant

We’ll Make the Roads by Walking


The Assistant is one of the more violent, early 1990s California style melodic post-punk (read: screamo) bands. Immediate comparisons to Fisticuffs Bluff, Orchid and Heroin come to mind. Some might suggest that We’ll Make The Roads by Walking sounds like Thursday or Thrice, with a girl singing/screaming. Being a fan of this sort of stuff, I find it to be much more than that, and this album is one of the better “punk” albums I’ve heard in many years.

Please keep in mind that some of my all time (and I mean, “all time!”) favorite bands include Swing Kids, Heroin, Antioch Arrow and Angelhair. The early ’90s Gravity sound is probably my favorite chapter in punk rock’s history, and The Assistant borrows from that scene plenty – but it’s also clear that they have enjoyed music made after 1994. Hints of Botch, Coalesce and early Cave In float in and out of this album, with occasional chugga riffs galloping by for added zest.

Probably the most unique aspect of The Assistant’s sound is the lead female vocalist, Leigh, whose voice is so gruff that, unless one bothers to read the liner notes, she might be overlooked as just another pasty looking boy with black work pants and white belt. Her voice is guttural, and it sounds as if it hurts her throat when she sings. But it totally works!

We’ll Make the Roads by Walking is a thoroughly abrasive, angular, jagged and incredibly ferocious record, and is not for the faint hearted. This is the kind of stuff that will send the kids at Hot Topic, both shoppers and workers, running for cover. They, like many, have forgotten that punk rock is supposed to intimidate and terrify, not be on the covers of mainstream magazines and MTV. The Assistant will remind you of why you fell in love with punk rock music.

Alone Records:

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