Groove: It’s something that’s nestled comfortably within hardcore’s heavy undertow since Mackie Jayson’s pummelling first hits in “We Gotta Know.” Or, perhaps,even before then. Still, those hits and subsequent drum groove were a massive influence for bands then and now.
Expounded upon for decades now, Apsara has taken that familiar groove, flipped it on its head, spit-shined it and placed a sound that’s uniquely California on its demo. The four-song effort, released on Statement Records, is, lyrically, an exploration of our broken world layered above the slow-burning, swinging riffs. The result is refreshing, and it sounds massive. Opener, “Take and Keep” is a prime example of the aforementioned fury. A buzzy, distorted bass riff sets the precedent for a guitars to follow, as drums crash behind. “What's left to build on if the world is gone?/ What's left to live for when the night becomes long?,” the vocalist says. From there, Apsara seamlessly transition into a barrage of slow riffs, like a war-battered tank creeping across a battlefield on its tour of duty.
There’s no discernable structure in “Take and Keep,” but its momentum and flow are enough to keep listeners hooked. It’s clear that Apsara rely on swaggering groove rather than the breakneck speed; It’s a formula that works for them, and it’s exciting to see where the band will take it next.