Reptile - CD 2007
Survival of the Fittest - CD 2005
Sick Among the Pure
Dark Realms Magazine
ELECTR-ON (in Polish)
Synthpop.ru (in Russian)
Wetworks Electrozine (Conspiracy MCD)
Wetworks Electrozine (Revenge EP)
Grinding Into Emptiness
Very dark and brooding, GASR's Survival of the Fittest out on Nilaihah records
is a decent EBM/industrial release, but will get lost in the dirty waters of
over-creation in this genre. With the help of Nilaihah it is quite possible that
the duo, from Boston and NYC both, may find themselves hanging on a bit longer than
most of the come-and-goers in this style.
Certainly not bad by any means, GASR certainly have a flair for programming and
music itself. Opening with the darkening spirit of Survivor, Survival of the Fittest
takes us on an introspective journey into a sci-fi futuristic Earth. Survivor plods
along, getting a bit boring by track's end. There's just not enough meat here to keep
things going, even with GASR's panache at programming and sequencing. It doesn't
hold my interest for the duration.
Creed's also a decent track, but loses itself among all the other "decent tracks"
of the EBM genre. There isn't much here on Survival of the Fittest to differentiate
GASR from the others plying these seas. I really dig the bright keyboards of Zero
combined with the raspy percussion beats and vocals. Zero is a highlight track here
on Survival of the Fittest. More decent keyboard work appears on Remember as well,
this track being the second fastest on the album clocking in at 136BPMs.
The following Conspiracy is extremely similar in make-up and by this point, halfway
through Survival of the Fittest, the tracks are starting to become annoyingly similar.
Private slows it down after the speedier previous few and brings us to a tic-tapping
interesting rhythm with smooth electronic surroundings. It still, unfortunately,
doesn't engage and hold my mind for its run like others I've heard in this style.
Certainly GASR's Survival of the Fittest is worth picking up for the true
EBM/industrial believers out there. But for those of us that are looking for more...
an evolution of sorts from the over-ripe genre...might do better elsewhere.
There's certainly dance floor fodder here, and there's definitely play list
worthy tracks. But the at-home music aficionado won't find all that much meat to
sustain their appetites.
Marcus Pan @ Legends Magazine
GASR is Gary Suarez (vocals/programming), Luis Brito
(programming/production), and Jim Ankrom (live keyboards). Survival of
the Fittest, GASR’s debut effort is a beautifully structured album that
is not only emotionally and mentally captivating but also a fresh
addition to stagnating dance floor playlists everywhere.
GASR’s Survival of the Fittest is a complex and thoughtful release,
visiting familiar EBM and synthpop staples ranging from Neuroticfish to
Bigod 20 (leaving nothing untouched between) and taking the combinations
to newer and higher grounds. Suarez’s vocals and lyrics switch between
intimate and fragile to a darker, accusing tone. The keys/programming,
however; are GASR’s real strength. While Suarez’s vocals require a few
listens to really enjoy, the programming stands out within seconds.
While I’ll admit I was not instantly carried away by Survival of the
Fittest, after a few listens I was completely engrossed. It amazes me the
quality and effort this trio has managed to put into just their first
release, and I can only hope they continue in this trend.
Shaun Phelps @ Chain DLK
After finding a home with American label Nilaihah, Gasr’s long-awaited debut has
finally been issued to the masses. Survival of the Fittest is a collection of
eleven tracks, some of which have been in development since 1998. The scope of
their sound is quite broad, ranging from EBM to futurepop, with the grit of Skinny
Puppy clearly embedded in their vocals. From the onset of their opener, "Survivor",
one can hear echoes of 242’s "Headhunter" within their militant drum pads.
Gary Suarez’s gruff whisper integrates well here with the frigid backdrop of
pensive synths, as well as with its scraping steam bursts and trance-like bass
line. There’s a slight inflection in his voice of the chorus that recognizes
futurepop, but there still remains that Ogre-like inflection. That comparison
is incredibly apt in the demonic crawl of "Zero". In this ode to abusive
relationships, eerie chime-like keys merge with a lurching, crunchy rhythm and
deep, ghostly choral textures. The trembling woodwinds, monolithic slices of
grumbling noise, and forlorn replicated strings of "Private" also has that tense
uncomfortable atmosphere. Its lyrical themes are similar, as Suarez invokes creepy
misogynistic obsession is highly enticing albeit spooky. Gasr bare their club hooks
in the bass thump and handclaps that pepper "Remember". The beat leads a charge
amid rapid arpeggios and astral twitters in a twisted marriage of creepy EBM and
synthpop. The precursor single "Conspiracy" continues this upbeat pace with pensive
synths and rapid hi-hat fused percussion resulting in a soundtrack similar to
perhaps Assemblage 23. Certainly, traces of their inspirations can be fathomed,
but Gasr have put together quite a stunning debut. Catchy, and beyond any insatiable
goal to be a muse on the dancefloor, Survival of the Fittest relies on strong
writing and atmosphere to congeal into a solid debut.
Vlad M @ Side-Line Magazine
Sick Among the Pure
For those of you not familiar with history, the phrase "Survival of the fittest"
was coined, not by Darwin as is commonly thought, but Herbert Spencer in his book
Social Statistics. The phrase, mostly disregarded by biologists, is most commonly
used by proponents of one of the myriad of movements classified under the term
I can't say with certainty that the fellows who comprise GASR are familiar with
- or interested in - this, but their lyrics give me no reason to doubt so I'll
assume they are. They certainly know how to make a better electronic album than
most of their peers, but whether they ever "rise to the top" - as "survival of the
fittest" theory would predict - has yet to be seen. In any case, Survival of the
Fittest is amazing. Structured and complex, aggressive and richly layered, and
ranging from ruthlessly melancholy to darkly violent in its lyrical content,
this is something to try.
With strong elements of new wave, many of the songs remind me of open spaces,
the sky, flying, and science fiction; much of this sounds like OhGr’s second album,
but better (sorry die hard Skinny Puppy fans, but the man just isn’t quite up to
snuff without his partner). Sections of the music, edgy and brutal, as well as
the often strange lyrics, knock these feelings right out the window as you are
subjected to all the obligatory industrial paraphernalia like distortion (albeit
minimally), aggressive vocals, and bizarre lyrical imagery.
Speaking of the lyrics, they are some of the darkest I’ve read in a while.
"Adrenaline" and "Slavemaster," in particular, seem to be about misogynistic
brutality, while "Creed" describes the death of a loved one and "New Society"
and "Conspiracy" delve into political tyranny. There are the laments over women
in "Zero" and "Remember," but they don’t set the tone for the album as a whole.
Oh, and there’s the religious imagery that albums of this sort rarely omit, no
complaining from me.
Survival of the Fittest is good; great, I even dare say. From the lamenting
of "Zero," to the numb ruthlessness of "Survivor," to the dissent of "New Society"
and the carnal brutality of "Slavemaster," this album has quite a bit to it, all
wrapped up in wonderfully pristine production.
Any electronic music enthusiast ought to at least try a few tracks out from this album.
Jason Van Kemseke @ Sick Among the Pure
GASR, a New York-based duo comprised of vocalist Gary Suarez and programmer Luis Brito,
have finally put out a full-length album after six years of demos and compilation
appearances. It was worth the wait; These 11 tracks have enough stomp to their rhythms
that club play should be a given, but there’s enough pop sensibility to make them fun
to listen to even outside of the dance floor. Brito doesn’t go out of his away to be
complex with his sequencing, sticking for the most part to basic but infectious synth
arpeggios and throwing in the occasional key change or string effect to keep things
from getting repetitive. Suarez, for his part, has the ideal approach for this kind
of music; his vocals are aggressive and distorted enough to get the point across on
angrier tracks like "Conspiracy" and "No Empathy," but he’s also unafraid to burst
into a more emotive croon, as he does on opening track "Survivor," when the situation
warrants it. Although he occasionally slips into a sort of faux-British affectation
on "Private" and "Creed," the songs are otherwise so memorable and catchy that you
can forgive him for his occasional hammy moments. Lyrically, Suarez delves into
both the intensely personal, particularly on the house-influenced "The Light," and
the consciously political, exemplified by the belligerent "New Society." Survival
of the Fittest has a distinctive sound that incorporates both a clean, modern style
that will appeal to fans of such groups as VNV Nation, and a grittier aspect that
connects them with the old-school EBM traditions of hard-hitting rhythms and
cultural disillusionment. Suarez and Brito definitely know what they’re doing;
let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another six years for the next album.
infinitywaltz @ Re>gen Magazine
After being familiar with this group for several years due to their compilation
appearances, it was a pleasure to finally pick up their debut full-length album.
It was nice to see that the compilation pieces also appear on this album and bring
to the world eleven solid tracks.
Launching right into the theme of the album "Survivor" kicks it all off with a
variety of dance-friendly beats, slight distortion and a number of electronics for
a smooth and melodic approach. Most tracks follow this pattern of up-beat
dance-friendly electronics and beats with few exceptions. The melodic nature
of the slightly distorted vocals and electronics create a full and rich sound
that creates a wide spectrum of listeners.
The rhythm pounds on through the fast-paced likes of "Creed", "Remember", the
ever-popular track "Conspiracy" and so on. In fact it was a nice treat to have
"Conspiracy" appear on this album as it fits so well with the overall theme and
is probably the track that introduced most fans to this band making us wish they
would release this album.
The lyrical content of the album follows the pattern of most recent electro-industrial
bands with a vein of social issues and stories layered throughout. This remains true
whether the message is pounded in with the vast and powerful beats or the subtle
electronic loops. Even with the down-tempo beats of "Zero" which is an incredibly
powerful and captivating track, the message is carried on, and finally with the
finale of the album "No Empathy" it slowly fades and leaves the listener waiting
and hoping for more. Luckily, this final track has a little bonus on the end, just
one last little treat for fans to enjoy.
Overall this is a great album that fans can really enjoy. It's pretty much everything
we could have expected without any real disappointments, but not exactly
ground-breaking either as it still remains mostly in the mold of melodic EBM music.
review @ Gothic Paradise
Dark Realms Magazine
Having seen the name GASR floating around on a number of compilations, it was rather
interesting to discover that this release heralds the bands actual full length debut.
The amazement came about simply because the band amassed a devoted following BEFORE a
full length was available, which is no easy accomplishment!
Survival of the Fittest is packed full of melodic EBM with wonderful male vocals that
listeners can fully understand and appreciate. The thing that exemplifies GASR from
the pack is the fact that the songs are given an emotional delivery which push the
edge a bit without trying to sound like a cookie cutter electronic band.
The songs are energetic and dance floor compatible with just enough emphasis on the
synthpop, EBM and industrial hybrid to appeal to a broad range of underground fans.
If you want to know what the future of underground dance music will be, grab a copy
of Survival of the Fittest!
Mike Ventarola @ Dark Realms Magazine
This cd came up described as Industrial Dance when I popped it into my computer, and
I can't think of a better way to describe it. It's one of the most intense, hard-hitting
albums I've heard in a while. It holds strong to Industrial music, while still remaining
quite accessible. GASR is made up of Luis Brito, Gary Suarez, and Jim Ankrom, and is based
out of the Boston area in the US. Though the band has been together since approx. 1997,
this 2005 release is actually their debut album!
Utilizing the harsher and grittier tone of classic Industrial music, GASR also leans on
the recent futurepop movement to create a sound that is both aggressive and extremely
catchy. Songs such as "Creed", "Conspiracy" and "Remember" all are quite pop-friendly
songs, with strong and catchy choruses coupled with very danceable beats all add up to
some really single-worthy tracks. But "Zero", "Survivor" and "The Light" are all
sufficiently harsh to please just about any Industrial fan.
Now, reading that, you might think that this album tries to please two audiences,
which usually means it would accomplish neither. However, that's not the case here.
The more pop-friendly songs still have harsh and gritty elements to them, and the
more hard songs still have some pop moments in them. It's a well-balanced album that
accomplishes reaching out to two rather different audiences. While not perfect, it
is a very solid debut album and very much worth your investigation!
Jason Baker @ Synthpop.net
SPRING, 2001 - Conspiracy MCD
After two very promising demo releases, it seems that Boston's Gasr
has finally come into its own. The latest 5-track EP entitled Conspiracy
is a great batch of songs that perfectly capture Gasr's own blend of
electro/EBM, with a touch of synthpop. Admittedly, the duo of Luis Brito
(lead programming, keyboards, vocoder) and Gary Suarez (vocals, lyrics)
may not produce the hardest-hitting brand of electro that acts such
as God Module or Flesh Field may dish out. Instead, they add a personal
and emotional element as heard in Gary's very much improved vocals backed
by Luis's warm, seductive programming. Songs such as "Conspiracy"
and "Zero" are prime examples of Gasr's masterful use of slightly
distorted rhythms as a foundation for fluttering synthlines and Gary's
soon-to-be unmistakable voice to flow through. The CD's best track,
however, is the upbeat "Creed" with its constant beat and
intelligible vocals, almost reminiscent of VNV Nation's "Kingdom."
Another favorite is the synthpop flavor of "Remember," as
a somber piano piece opens the song and drags the listener in with its
soothing synths and catchy chorus. The EP is rounded out by "Slavemaster"
which shows a grittier, more menacing side to Gasr's music. With Conspiracy,
Gasr makes great strides in their approach to music. As a whole, the
Boston-based duo shows a great amount of maturity as they embrace electro-industrial
and EBM while not being confined to the trappings of the genre. Instead,
they add a very accessible and melodic quality while maintaining an
edge in their sound.
Brian L. @ WetWorks Electrozine
SPRING, 2000 - REVENGE EP
After meeting at Boston University, Gary Suarez (vocals, lyrics, programming)
and Luis Brito (keyboards, programming, vocoder) decided to collaborate
and start creating music together under the moniker Gasr (electro-industrial
project whose name is derived from the misspelling of Gary's name).
Gasr's second demo, "Revenge," is a tightly composed piece
of music which mixes goth-tinged vocals with dance-floor friendly beats
and rhythms. Often times, it reminds me of Assemblage 23 or mid-period
Evils Toy. "Revenge" is made up of four tracks in all. The
first (and very powerful) track is "Pyro," which brings to
mind the best elements of Evils Toy and other such electro acts. The
vocals on "Pyro" move from slightly distorted spurts of aggression
to lighter, more pop-styled vox, which gives off a very nice contrast.
The title track "Revenge" is a fast-paced dancefloor stomper
that will sure to be a club hit. It contains a very nice usage of synths
and drum patterns. "New Society" is a track I've had for awhile
now. This track feels flat compared to the newer tracks, but that's
to be expected. It's always nice to see a band getting more skilled
at what they do. Not a bad track, but lacking in comparison to the first
two tracks. The final track, "Scars Remain," is very upbeat
and dancey, reminiscent of the new modern synthpop acts like Neuroactive.
This is probably one of the best self-released CDs I've received in
months. The disc is a very well crafted electro-dance album with a nice
synthpop feel to the vocals. I'm looking forward to seeing what Gasr
comes up with next. Recommended..
Gun-Hed @ Wetworks Electrozine
Grinding Into Emptiness
UNTITLED DEMO A number of independent bands have really amazed me recently,
and this one is no different. GASR achieve a sound similar to Dark Illumination,
a German band recently signed to Zoth Ommog. In case you aren't familiar
with that band, their style is a sort of soft EBM--less agressive, yet
still dance floor friendly. The programming on all tracks is quite incredible,
and not what you would normally expect from an unsigned band. GASR generally
uses vocals with little or no distortion. However, when distortion is
used, it is done tastefully, and never taken to an extreme. Samples
are strategically placed and very well chosen. It's hard to pick a most
impressive track on this tape. Each track displays different styles
and qualities, and the quality never diminishes through each of the
styles. As I see it now, more talent resides in the underground now
that in bands on bigger labels, and GASR justifies that statement.
Scott Mallonee @ Grinding Into Emptiness
UNTITLED DEMO If you like EBM, you'll probably dig this. Very rhythmic;
somewhat reminiscent of Evil's Toy. Not as harsh as Funker Vogt or :wumpscut:.
Reminding one of Icon of Coil, GASR is a gothic industrial dance
outfit that punishes the listener with hard-edged dance beats and
harsh EBM similar to Frontline Assembly. Having released politically
based music before, “Reptile” continues that trend with discontent
over public policy and the Bush administration’s rule of America.
Haunting harmonies amid dark electro ala Wumpscut, GASR seems poised
to purse their lips with melodic industrial beats and fashionable
dance filler. Very enjoyable.
Review by J-Sin for Cypheractive