From Ashes Rise come from the guts of Portland basements. That's why you may have never heard of one of our city's best hardcore bands--though playing together in some form for over seven years, the four-piece has existed primarily in the DIY scene, mostly playing house shows with similarly minded punks, such as Tragedy. But now, with Nightmares (their first album on Jade Tree Records), they're about to get a little more visible.
Nightmares is a great release, full of gripping melodies and smart punk riffs; rapid-fire drumming; shredding, screamy, tough vocals. Though buoyant with its own energy, it's also quite anthemic and serious, and lyrically, paints a dark, post-apocalyptic vision. Says guitarist/vocalist Brad Boatright, "I guess you could classify the lyrics as a warning about what's going onÉ we're saying, 'This is what's happening in the shadows, these are the people pulling the strings.' There's a mobilization on the other side we have to be aware of, and there are people out there who would rather see us six feet under. The word apocalyptic keeps coming up and always has. That's all the warning isÉ not necessarily the end of the world, but the end of life as we know itÉ the end of our comfort is close at hand."
It's obvious From Ashes Rise is extremely dedicated to their music, and Nightmares is a fine record. "I think it's the best thing we've ever done," says Boatright. "We put a lot of effort of making sure we did a good record. I think instinct has a lot to do with it. Keith Richards used to say the Rolling Stones were like an antenna that picked up a wave they could channel, and I think that's true with us. It's a total dialogue. This band is about communication."
And, while Boatright says they've been criticized by some in the DIY scene for signing to a label (though, to be fair, Jade Tree is one of the most punk ethic-adhering labels around), the band's next tour is booked like they've always booked tours--through friends, on the basement circuit.