As Friends Rust - Won (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

As Friends Rust

Won (2001)


I think the past few years have been dramatically important for punk and hardcore, because so many diverse forms of expression are being combined in completely unique and new sounding ways, and in spite of all this experimentation, most of these new bands haven't forgotten how to write great songs, nor have they forgotten where they come from.

Like their Gainseville counterparts, Hot Water Music, As Friends Rust doesn't give a damn what you think punk is about. They've broken it down to it's original components: raw emotion, no bullshit riffage, and hooks galore. In their reconstruction, they've produced two of my favourite EPs, and now, a contender for my favourite release of the year.

Like their self-titled EP, and Fists of Time EP, this record combines aspects of punk, hardcore, and indie rock into a raw, angry sound that you must have known was from Gainesville. The band themselves described the record:

About the record: It's dirty. The joke throughout the recording and mixing process was that this record would not fly very well for the prudish, self-righteous clean cut pop-punk-hardcore kids. So, if you apply, you may really hate this record. The mood is dirty, dark and seedy. Not "for the kids", at least not for the gutless mama's boys and daddy's girls of hardcore today. Sorry.

I can't say I agree. This is one of the best sounding records I've ever heard. The guitar sound is prime, and the drums feel like a kick in the chest. The vocals are never lost in the wall of noise, and the there is an almost hallucinatory quality to the harmonies throughout.

I mean, how can you not love a band that has a song with the chorus "Fuck with the bull,you'll get the horns." In a lot of ways, that sums up the band. Pissed off, aggressive, but with a definite soft spot for melody. I wonder if that sums up their audience?