RIOTOUS ASSEMBLY REVIEWS
Suspect Device Zine
One simply has to take ones hat off to Britt and the boys for this, Asserts fourth full length c.d. which is as political and hard arsed a hardcore sound you will find anywhere on our punk planet these days! They really have become the masters of this intense full on wall of sound that totally does blow you away!! I've reviewed loads of their stuff over the years but I can't think that any of it has been as good as this twenty six minutes and fifteen tracks. Almost in a class of their own after years of trying. GAZ SUSPECT.
Assert seem to have been known in the U.K. hardcore world for quite sometime. Anyone who remembers Household name records before they started putting out release after release of ska-punk will probably have heard Assert on either of their seven inches, the 'Left opposition' album or the couple of comps they put out in 97/98. This certainly is macho sounding stuff, easily comparable to bands like Cro-mags or D.R.I. Assert play an old school influenced blend of hardcore thrash, with aggressive vocals and a take no prisoners approach to their music. suppose two words to describe them would be 'Political' and 'Proud'. The opening track 'Lean on me' is one of the best openers i've heard in some time. It grabs you straight by the balls and throws you into a frenzy before calming down for one hell of a catchy guitar line and mob chorus. '1,2,3,4, go!' is about as fast as it goes, with some blast beat action starting the song before thrusting into some speedy hardcore and chanted 1,2,3,4, go! chorus' followed by a great guitar solo. The album continues in much the same way. The energy levels remain high and the music is as danceable as it gets. If this does not get you jumping around your room your obviously sat on a tube of superglue! 'Never forget you' is dedicated to Matty Roberts and old drummer Chris
Burleigh who tragically died a few years ago. The song manages to remain melodic while being a frantic slice of thrash, something I really like to hear. There is even a bit of a metal sound creeping into 'Start a war' and 'Hang 'em high' with yet again some great guitar work. 'You set me on fire' sounds a bit like the kind of stuff Napalm Death are famous for- 1000 mph deeply shouted 15 second numbers. This really is quite a diverse album within the hardcore and thrash realm. In fact i would go as far to say that this album has pretty much everything you want to hear in a hardcore album; aggression, passion, a sense of urgency, and a message. Its fast , but has some great melodic parts so i can't see it failing to please. Hunt it down and you will find an album you'll certainly get a lot of listening from. PHIL. 4/5
Unfit for Consumption
Album number four from the U.K. hardcore punkers, and it's absolutely excellent. Straight from the off you get slapped around the head as Assert boot into song after song with a ferocious bite. Seriously, there is some power behind these songs. Vocalist and band spokesman Britt is on top form, his vocals sounding like a punked up, hardcored up Lemmy, delivering his political beliefs as robustly as ever on the menacing 'Red beat and blood'. The guitarists are equally on top form; check out the lead work and solos on '1,2,3,4, Go! ' or the title track 'Riotous Assembly' and the riff on 'Popular uprising' and 'Never forget you'. The latter having a brilliant melodic section fucked into its 110mph rattle. Elsewhere 'Blood bath' is sheer rage! . 'School of assassins' is bloody amazing!! . The breakdown on 'Lean on me' is irresistible. This is hardcore punk at its nastiest. The fact I own all four records by this band speaks volumes for their brilliance. Trevor Meehan
Mass Movement #15
ferocious straight ahead and smack in the face of an
album that makes I.R. seem like a Sunday stroll in the park or like an unplugged
acoustic release. This is just a full on nihilistic assault on your ears that
shows the sheer class of the UK hardcore punk wrecking crew that is Assert.
Britt gets more like an angry rabid dog that once sinks his teeth in wonít let
go more and more as the years go by. Surely they canít get more aggressive
than this? Then again I was wrong before and Iím sure I will be wrong again. E.
Whilst their previous albums have all been thoroughly acceptable, I think it's fair to say that Assert have never really captured their live fury adequately in the studio......until now. 'Riotous Assembly', their fourth full length features not only the thickest production the band have ever been blessed with, but finds them apparently more pissed off than ever before, and not without reason; as well as a wealth of injustice all around them to rage against, Assert have recently had to come to terms with much more personal tragedy. The untimely death of their previous drummer the talented Chris Burleigh, bringing the return of ex-Cancer sticks man Carl Stokes to the fold. Whilst he probably is not as insanely fast as his predecessor, he certainly knows how to nail a brutal rhythm , and he underpins this latest collection of songs with frightening conviction. Whether it's the 18 second blast that is 'You Set Me On Fire' or the psycho-groove of 'School Of Assassins', this is Assert at their tightest and most intense, yet also their most accessible and diverse. Somewhere equidistant between Agnostic Front and The Exploited musically, although never losing sight of that experimental eccentricity that has always set the band apart, it's a potent effort, invigorating in it's manic aggression, inspiring with it's articulate focused anger. Britt's lyrics are as demanding on the listener as ever , pointed and specific as opposed to the vague personal politics so many modern punk bands shroud their superficial 'rebellions' in, and it's all wrapped in striking artwork by Needles from the underrated Scottish band Swellbellys, making for an excellent slice of confrontational hardcore. Ian Glasper.
England's Assert! What can you say; spitting left political ideas into the faces of the establishment the way bands did in the late 70's and early 80's, but still with their furious and fast music. On their fourth album Britt is (as you will know and feel) as angry as always. He's violently slashing his way through songs like "Blood Bath", "Start a War" and "Lying Stalinist Bastards". Some rough times lay behind with being on a rip off label, and most important the death of their drummer Chris. It's all fuel to the fire of Assert. It seems melodies are trying to invade the concrete wall of Assert thrash which might bring some exiting changes in the time to come. For now though, the Riotous Assembly has come to bring the establishment down and Britt will be the new president. He's got my vote! - Martijn Welzen.
Flex Your Head
There are times when you just want to thrash. Not to metal, not to metalcore, but to some kick ass thrash punk. This new CD from Assert will definitely satisfy the thirst for some hardcore punk mayhem. It sounds as though the band has had a healthy dose of Discharge, Concrete Sox, Heresy, and would have been right at home on the Earache label some 17 years ago. The riffing on this shredding CD comes off as a wall of sound assaulting your ears and is guaranteed to leave an impression on your pitiful soul. The UK thrash barrage lineage continues with Assert, as Riotous Assembly is both satisfying and as fulfilling as the early 80's Euro thrash. Crust? Almost. Politically charged aggro punk? Absolutely. Assert even do Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" justice on here. - Brad Mitchell.
INSURRECTION ROCKS REVIEWS
Terrorizer - Issue No.98
'Insurrection Rocks' marks the rebellious return of these hardcore punk rock aggressors. Anyone who has seen Britt and co destroy an audience will confirm that Assert are a fearsome live entity. The onslaught of their latest album lives up to their image, with no safe refuge from their political retribution. Assert push their point across by interfacing their agit lyrics with some incredibly catchy interludes. The title track is a weird amalgamation of syncopated beats and breakaway mayhem fused with an unnervingly addictive chorus. It's the type of song that rattles around in your head long after the music has faded away. These boys stick to their guns, the under-championed breed of band that simply hits the road and physically destroys fans up and down the country. Standing by their convictions, they have fury and fierce determination in every phrase of their knock-the-roof-down choruses and the bonus track 'Agitate, Educate' ropes in Napalm Death barker Barney for a boisterous shout fest. On this album, Assert are determined to rattle your apathy-right now!
Kerrang! - Issue 2nd Feb 2002
If, as US author and scenester Steven Blush suggests, hardcore is a dead art form, someone has neglected to tell Assert. 'Insurrection Rocks' is a short, sharp- riot -in progress. Falling halfway between the council estates of Britain and New Yorks lower East Side, it's a relentlessly venomous noise. Like Agnostic Front playing through Motorheads amps, 'Forces of Victory' and 'Our time will Come' are as sure footed in their intent as they are unstoppable in their sound; even the sonic boom that is 'You can't stop us' threatens more violence in it's 17 second length than a dozen Californian punk bands could muster in a lifetime of trying.14 tracks and one hell of an awesome noise.
Metal Hammer - Issue Feb 2002
Assert's latest does exactly what you'd expect; assaults the ears and the brain with an uncompromising barrage of characteristically British hardcore. Mixing it up with hefty lumps of politico punk and good old fashioned thrash, Assert remind you of years gone by, when music was unfettered by photographer friendly images, and instead relied on passion, commitment, enthusiasm and hard work. They've got a simplistic approach- loud, fast, uncomplicated and energetic. Songs that are straight to the point and waste no time getting there, rarely lasting more than a couple of minutes-but then why should they? Quality hardcore and well worth both your time and money-get it!