Converse Rubber Tracks x MetalSucks Preview, Week 5: Axeslasher
We all know that Converse makes awesome sneakers (no exaggeration, our own Axl Rosenberg hasn’t worn any other brand since roughly 2004), but did you know that they also have a recording studio in Brooklyn… which they allow bands to use 100% FREE of charge? It’s true! Converse Rubber Tracks is a state of the art recording studio, complete with its own qualified sound engineers and too much equipment to even list here, that can be used by musicians of any genre to record their own music for FREE, the rights to which they completely retain. It sounds too good to be true… and yet, it’s a really real thing!
MetalSucks has teamed up with Converse Rubber Tracks to give five bands the opportunity to record in the studio for a day absolutely free of charge, inviting bands to apply through an open submission process this past May and June. Axl and Vince have sifted through all the band entries — yes, every single one of them! — and have chosen their favorites. Five bands will be recording at Converse Rubber Tracks in August for a day each, after which the songs they record will be released right here on MetalSucks and featured in a video series on Metal Injection. In the weeks leading up to these recording sessions, we’ll be previewing one band every Wednesday, so you can get a taste of what’s in store for ya! Today, we feature Denver’s Axeslasher.
Like their fellow neo-thrashers Municipal Waste, there are some overtly humorous elements to Axeslasher’s image that may turn off fans who feel metal needs to be all doom n’ gloom — for one thing, there’s their obsession with pizza (Axeslasher mastermind Justin Lascelle utilizes the nickname “Professor Pizza,” their emblem is a pentagram made from pizza, they have a song about that emblem called “Mark of the Pizzagram,” etc.), and for another, there’s their penchant for parodic song titles (“Invasion of the Babesnatchers,” the aforementioned “Pizzagram,” etc.). But, as with Municipal Waste, to confuse not-taking-shit-too-seriously with not-being-serious-about-their-music would be a grave error. ‘Cause Axeslasher kick serious axe (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Lascelle and his rotating cast of bandmates (his track for Converse Rubber Tracks x MetalSucks will feature Skinless’ Sherwood Webber on drums) aspire to no lesser goal than to create the nastiest, most flagitious thrash possible — and I’ll be a Winds of Plague fan if they don’t succeed. By their own admission, “Axeslasher were born out of an unsettling love for 80s slasher flicks,” and their music has the same disreputable appeal as the classics of that genre: the same squares you’re rooting for the killer to off in the most comedically-horrific manner possible would judge you for enjoying the work in the first place. But it takes serious skill to make an actual contribution to the genre; you have to strike the proper balance between utilizing and reinventing the tropes fans expect. Axeslasher is Sleepaway Camp, while most like-minded bands settle for being The Slumber Party Massacre.
The bottom line is this: Axeslasher write capital-E Evil riffs, the kinds of songs that are bound to inspire many an injurious pit. They are the real deal. Get on board with ’em now, or be forced to eat pizza ’til you puke.