Assistant We'll make the Roads by Walking

The Assistant is one of those bands that deserve a bit of space in any magazine for their relentless ambition if nothing else. This New Jersey quartet packs enough ideas into these eight songs (50 minutes — do the math, feel the pain) to keep everyone happy. In theory, that is; in practice, most will probably be like me, frustrated and confused, brain unable to process all the tossing and turning going on here. The band seems rooted in an emotional hardcore terrain, but also tackle heavier, near-metal sounds, nice acoustic songs and crappy technical runs that sound out of place and absolutely futile. That shit's got to be there for a reason and a lot of the sounds on this disc seem pointless, like one big exercise in having way too many cooks in this kitchen. But again, got to give 'em at least a moment's worth of credit, because this is heartfelt stuff, which is what matters most at the end of the day. Having songs counts for something too, which is the reason I'll probably never listen to this one again. (Alone)