Spartan Records – Assertion – Intermission
As the dust settled on an impressive list of former endeavors, it was an unlikely series of human connections that sparked the inception of Assertion. After years of self-described music industry PTSD and disenchantment, drummer William Goldsmith (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft, Foo Fighters), guitarist/vocalist Justin Tamminga (Blind Guides, Dying Trades), bassist Bryan Gorder united through a series of serendipitous events. Best described adjectively, the band’s debut LP, Intermission, is real, propulsive, and earnest — a cathartic experience that proudly does not nestle nicely alongside current bands — or really many releases at all from the last couple decades. Intermission conjures more connections to the heady grit and soaring grind of the 90’s. Driving guitars anchored by a frenetic rhythm section. A haunting vocal delivery concealing a heartfelt sentiment. Track-by-track, the record builds into a dark and heavy crescendo but unpredictably retreats into delicate and fragile moments in masterful ways.