by Tiana Feng

Founded in 2006, Aspiga is a band from Collingswood, NJ comprised of Kevin Day on guitar/vocals, Alec McVey on bass and Ray Solowij on drums. “Tense” was released on Solidarity Recordings on June 2010, but it landed in my recent pile of snail mail submissions so that’s how I found them.

1. I am
2. Goodnight Virginia
3. Adjust and then Adjust
4. Tense
5. Oh Philadelphia
6. Head to Curb
7. Routinely
8. Dear Self
9. It was Windy
10. Docks

If I had to categorize Aspiga as a genre I’d probably say they were an indie alternative punk group because they are an equal mix of all three genres. The punk vocals mixed with alternative guitars and indie rhythms comprise most of the songs on the album. It’s most prevalent in the title song Tense where the 3 elements together give that effect of tension which does not get “released” until the opening intro of Oh Philadelphia.

I Am and Goodnight Virginia are both great openers of the album with great hooks singing songs about getting away. My favorite from the album was actually, Dear Self where the vocals are toned down and a little less melodramatic. It feels perfectly blended with the instrumentals leaning toward a more indie and less punk sound. In my opinion, there are times throughout the album where I think the punk vocals are being a bit over dramatic or overdone such as in Docks or Adjust and Adjust.

Kevin proved in Dear Self he can sing without the punk vocals. I feel like the band is still trying to define what sound or direction they want to take. I think they can do great as either an all out punk band or an all out indie/alternative group but the mesh of all three elements here may not be the best fit. I’m interested to hear what step they will take in the future.
Aspiga- Tense[audio:]
Aspiga- Dear Self[audio:]