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GASR REVIEWS >>>


Reptile - CD 2007

Side-Line Magazine
Cypheractive

Survival of the Fittest - CD 2005

Legends Magazine
Chain DLK
Side-Line Magazine
Sick Among the Pure
Re>gen Magazine
Gothic Paradise
Dark Realms Magazine
Synthpop.net
ELECTR-ON (in Polish)
Synthpop.ru (in Russian)
Wetworks Electrozine (Conspiracy MCD)
Wetworks Electrozine (Revenge EP)
Grinding Into Emptiness
DJ Ferret

 


REVIEWS

Legends Magazine
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


Chain DLK
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


Side-Line Magazine
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 Social Darwinism. 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


Re>gen Magazine
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


Gothic Paradise
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


Synthpop.net
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


Wetworks Electrozine
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

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


DJ Ferret
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:. Great potential.

DJ Ferret

Cypheractive
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