Let’s Talk About…A Static Lullaby
We were all young and had bad haircuts once. This is something I have found to be generally true from person to person, generation to generation, all around the world. The funny thing is, those bad haircuts are usually linked to the music we were into at the time. Red liberty spikes? You just heard your first Rancid record. Teased out big blonde coif? You were into Madonna. Or Poison. These are generalizations, and there are a lot of examples, and I assume you get the point, so I won’t really hammer that one home. The end result I want you to glean from this is that when I was 14 I had one of those over-one-eye swoop things and I liked A Static Lullaby a lot.
Obviously there could be a myriad of bands that would fit in that sentence but I didn’t feel like writing about Atreyu or Eighteen Visions or From Autumn to Ashes or anybody else that was on Ferret or Trustkill between ’00 and and ’04. I want to write about A Static Lullaby. So here goes.
I ordered their first full length …And Don’t Forget to Breathe from a BMG or Columbia House catalog and immediately commenced to play the fuck out of “Love to Hate, Hate to Me” and that song with the “spoon out my heart” lyric. They were definitely one of the better bands in that early metalcore boom, and they were one of the more emo ones too, which appealed to me.
The band ended up signing to a major (Columbia I think) and recording their sophomore album Faso Latido with an actual budget and Lou Giordano producing. Faso was pretty much a giant hunk of shit except for the single (“Stand Up”) and one other really cool song (“Radio Flyer’s Last Journey”). I had pretty much written the band off, and then a bunch of dudes left and formed The Casket Salesman, who were god awful. I saw them on the Taste of Chaos tour around the time and pretty much thought they were done.
To my great surprise, the band got their shit together in ’06 and signed with Fearless Records to release their self titled effort, which I will still contend to this day is their most solid body of work. The first 3 songs alone on this record are the 3 best songs they ever wrote, and the rest of it is pretty damn good as well. I thought “Hang ‘Em High” and “Annexation of Puerto Rico” were a great new direction for these guys, and I was stoked to see what they would come up with next. For a band I had pretty much given up on a few years earlier, I was pretty stoked on them.
And then they put out Rattlesnake.
The album that killed ASL is pretty much straight up, unadulterated Every Time I Die masturbation through and through. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some ETID…..when it’s played by ETID. When a bunch of Californian dudes who are REALLY GOOD at emo-tinged metalcore-lite start jocking Southern riffage and attempting Buckley esque yowls, everything they do thereafter is suspect.
Luckily, they ceased to be an active band shortly thereafter. I know Joe Brown screamed briefly in the horrific Steve Evetts vehicle that was Elevate: I Am (worst name ever?) but I am unsure what he is doing now. Hopefully Dan Arnold is still singing somewhere because he has a great voice. ASL will forever stick out in my memory because of their bizarre career arc and even weirder trend of putting out a great album that worked for what it was and following it up with a complete stylistic change for the worse. Make sure to check out every other one of their albums.