Paper + Plastick | Asian Man | A-F Records
Dragged Through the Years is an apt title for a collection of rare, remixed, and unreleased material from Collingswood, New Jersey’s Aspiga. Time and music haven’t always been kind to these three friends and bandmates, and their existence as a creative entity, much like living itself, has been characterized both by fleeting joy and hardship. But hey, it’s not supposed to be easy, right? For some of us, as the years wear on, there’s still no better catharsis than song.
What began as a solo project for singer and guitarist Kevin Day well over a decade ago bloomed into a full band endeavor with the help of bassist Alec McVey and drummer Ray Solowij a handful of years later. Since then, Aspiga has worked their way through an extensive touring schedule and a prolific catalog of releases on labels such as Paper + Plastick, Asian Man Records, and Say-10. Aside from stacks of saved fliers and a few boxes of elding merch, the years of long drives and under-the-radar shows may not have left much behind to physically show for the work and heart that’s been poured into this band. However, the rewards and satisfaction are there for the members on a personal level, and lucky for the rest of us, that labor of love shows in their songs too.
Aspiga bleeds sincerity. The music often feels like an old friend you can always count on: honest, familiar, and entirely willing to go below the surface to get to the center of things. Day’s lyrics and vocal delivery are wonderfully human. There’s no shying away from the drain of self-reflection, imperfection, or the moments of suffering and doubt that plague all of us. His lens on life comes off as rife with truth and candor. Real talk, if you will. The band’s songs, driven by McVey and Solowij’s locked-tight rhythm section, are thought out and draw from pop-punk’s mature sides as well as classic-era post-hardcore and emo. Although accessibility and hook appeal abound, it’s evident that the songwriting involves going out of the way to break the mold and keep listeners guessing.
Ultimately, what gravitated me towards punk in the first place was a view of the world that was relatable, real, and wasn’t polluted by big ego or fantasy. Obviously, things aren’t always as they seem, but now and again, we can still find those rare people and bands. The ones who may not seem larger than life itself, but the true and beautiful ones, who make the best company to be Dragged Through the Years with. – Brian Moss (Great Apes)
FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING: Vanilla Pudding