and so i watch you from afar The Letters EP (digipak 4-track CD, £4.15)label: Smalltown America
ASIWYFA are four guys who practise what they preach and live by their epiphanic song title 'Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate'. Their hometown Belfast shows have become legendary, from the 1,000 capacity headline Christmas homecoming gig in Ulster Hall right down to a small secret basement party which was shut down by the police late in the night for being too insane. The band have become inspiration and flag bearers for Belfast’s burgeoning arts scene. Everything about ASIWYFA is gargantuan. Their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album released in 2009 is Exhibit A. From the iron-clad riffs to the pummelling crash of the cymbals to the palpable positivity of the music, it's everything great rock (never mind just instrumental rock) music should be. And songs which take titles such as 'Set Guitars To Kill' and 'Clench Fists, Grit Teeth... GO!' are suitably epic in scale. Filled with monstrous guitars, bulging rock histrionics and genuinely breathtaking moments, And So I Watch You from Afar was hailed by certain journalists as one of the best records of 2009. Respected music publications like The Quietus ('Quite some distance ahead of the rest of '09's guitar albums so far'), NME ('The sound of someone crashing an oil tanker through Sigur Ros's ice floe'), Kerrang! ('It's rare for a body of work to be so dreamy and elegiac yet conversely monstrously heavy') and Vice ('rescuing the instrumental ship from the deepest depths of irrevocable mediocrity') all chime together in praise of this awe inspiring band. “If the apocalypse is televised, these guys will provide the soundtrack” - 10/10 BBC RADIO ONE.
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