Æges The Bridge

ÆgesThe Bridge
Converging in Southern California, Æges have the feel of a super-group, in an underground sense, featuring Mark Holcomb (Undertow) on guitar, Larry Herweg (Pelican) on drums, Kemble Walters (the Rise) performing vocals and Tony Baumeister (-16-) on bass. A combination of their other projects being on hiatus and sheer mutual chemistry drew these men together, and now they have released a debut full-length. The Bridge is a dense, heavy rock album, maybe a bit acid-fried and sludge-crusted around the edges, but with a thick, solid, metallic interior. Walters is equally comfortably uttering abrasive screams and employing simpering, pleading, clean vocals lines, and the combination is extremely effective. The hardcore experience of all four members comes across in the sheer muscular aggression the album is capable of, like during occasional blasts of fury on "Nothing Feels The Same," but for the most part, they keep that capacity for violence carefully curbed and leashed. This allows them to focus instead on putting together a potent and hooky hard rock album. The album is defined by moody songwriting and guitars played with a dry, electrical crackle that sucks all the moisture out of the air. Still, The Bridge is deceptively easy to chew on, the pop sensibilities making it go down smooth, for all the grit and bravado. This is a dusty, sun-squinting, easy record heralding the summer's heat waves. (Mylene Sheath)