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Ambitions - Stranger (Cover Artwork)

Ambitions

Ambitions: StrangerStranger (2007)
Bridge Nine Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AllonAllon
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After teasing us with several EPs over the last year, Ambitions finally, FINALLY make their Bridge Nine debut with their first full-length album: Stranger. First, for those of you who don't know already, Ambitions consists of the Aust brothers and John Ross, all from the now-defunct With Honor. T.
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After teasing us with several EPs over the last year, Ambitions finally, FINALLY make their Bridge Nine debut with their first full-length album: Stranger.

First, for those of you who don't know already, Ambitions consists of the Aust brothers and John Ross, all from the now-defunct With Honor. They're also joined by Jake Woodruff (guitar) and Keith Sidorowicz (drums). So any fans of their previous work shouldn't have any reason to avoid this.

As far as the album goes, the sound is a little bit of a venture off the beaten path that With Honor started and the Question EP continued down. While Question was, for the most part, a stripped-down mish-mash of singing, screaming, punk, and hardcore, Stranger remains in the hardcore foundation but branches out even further into a more of a rock/punk territory. Such examples can be found on the mid-tempo "Fact Remains" and "Rapid Succession"; both songs are of the most melody-laden on the record and also somehow retain the hardcore intensity that throw neither song off at all. The placement of these songs may be one problem the album has. The aforementioned tracks reside in the middle and are blanketed by the more traditional hardcore songs we come to expect; however, the remaining three "rock" songs (for lack of a better description) close the record out on a slower note. None of these songs are necessarily bad though, and each match the criteria of the previously mentioned songs, the highlight of them being a guest appearance from Have Heart vocalist Pat Flynn.

But aside from all that, Ambitions does stay true to their hardcore roots on the whole record. On about every song there's the right amount of singing, screaming and well-placed, occasionaly melodic (yes, apparently they do exist) breakdowns. What struck me the most was how good of a singer Jay Aust really is. He's completely earnest when he sings and you can't help but be sucked into it. He's obviusly a much better screamer than singer, but the rousing gang vocals throughout the album more than make up for a small weakness.

Overall, I just feel that Stranger is a really, really well-rounded record. Between hardcore romps like "The Illusion" and "Sinking" to instrumental interludes ("Stranger") and a magnificent and soulful closer ("Redemptive Soul"), Stranger is a welcome and diverse boon to Bridge 9 and hardcore in general.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Ignitedude (May 13, 2008)

Lacks the energy and aggression of Question but still a worthy purchase. will most definitely appeal to fans of Ignite, Comeback Kid, Rise Against, With Honor etc

thomas7155 (February 14, 2008)

Really fucking good. like early Rise Against meets Comeback Kid meets Ignite.

eran_zombis (November 29, 2007)

Heart means everything is fucking killer. Thank God the vocals don't sound like Ignite because Ignite is terrible.

baseball (November 26, 2007)

definitely see the Ignite comparison

this sounds good, i think i'm going to have to get the LP of this, looks great

Big_Guy (November 25, 2007)

you always blow everything way out of proportion dude

danperrone (November 25, 2007)

and really really really really bad vocals

danperrone (November 25, 2007)

sounds like ignite with no passion or bite

jt (November 24, 2007)

is this as good as Question? regardless, i still need to pick this one up.

HOISTDATRAG (November 24, 2007)

Score's for whoever has given themselves the stranger.

thus_spoke_sean (November 23, 2007)

i heard something about this being based on, or inspired by Camus novel...is this the truth? and if so, does it affect the album in terms of a theme or (please god no) concept?

OverDefined (November 23, 2007)

I've been listening to this record non-stop. Biggest surprise of the year for me.

Oldpunkerforever (November 23, 2007)

great cd, if you love old school mid 80s hardcore and the with honor comparisionsare there too, no frills-oldpunker-

LeightonESmith (November 23, 2007)

I didn't realise the pedigree of this band.
I fucking loved With Honor. I'll definately go and have a decent listen to this.

DickAround (November 23, 2007)

My rating.

DickAround (November 23, 2007)

Awesome release. I get a big Quicksand vibe from these songs. Which is always awesome.

inagreendase (November 22, 2007)

A couple good songs here and there, but I'm not totally feeling this album as it gets kind of corny at times. Always a pretty solid live band, at least.

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