Ladies and gentlemen, music fans of the Pacific Northwest, hello and welcome back to our third annual year-end daily countdown, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Follow the #100Bands100Days hashtag on Twitter to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician that perhaps you haven’t been turned onto yet, and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today we’d like to bring our journey through 100 straight days of great music discovery to one of the hardest-rocking bands in all of Washington, Asterhouse!
In 2009, after formerly performing under the moniker Jar of Rain, then just simply JAR, siblings John and Russ Thornburg teamed up with backing vocalist and bassist Julio Posada, and together the trio, known as Asterhouse, was born in Kenmore, WA. Asterhouse is a band that manages to fall under the category of “hard rock” without falling into the trap of melodrama and overcompensating overproduction that the majority of bands in the style fall into these days. While the trio features everything you would want out of a band of this style — thick, unrelenting guitar tones and leads, powerful and very proficient drumming, a strong sense of melody and songwriting prowess — they manage to keep the ferocity feeling fresh and animalistic thanks to their raw and natural recording, and together the trio has a lot of chemistry in how their playing compliments one another and pushes each other to the next level, to create an overall sound that revitalizes their hard rock influences in a refreshingly dirty style you’d generally expect from a less ferocious indie rock band.
Asterhouse is one of the most active rock bands currently occupying the Pacific Northwest, no stranger to frequent single releases and split projects with other worthwhile local bands. In 2016, they’ve released both a standalone single, the more toned-down alt-rock jam “Marlina,” and contributed two songs to the four-way local split, Four Corners, on which Asterhouse shared the runtime with fellow local rockers The Pro-nouns, Crystal Desert and Actionesse. Both of Asterhouse’s contributions to Four Corners showed wholly different sides of the band, but both weren’t afraid to showcase the band’s carefree energy and knack for writing endlessly catchy rock music. In our review of Four Corners, we noted the stark difference in the sounds presented on both tracks, noting that while the first track, “Singing on a Soapbox,” was easily “the noisiest and the most free-wheeling of all; the guitars are punk as hell, the vocals are theatrical and emotive, the tune itself loose and catchy,” the trio’s second track to appear, “Sweet, Fragile World,” was lauded for being, “an alluring C86-esque dance floor-ready song, with one of the most winning choruses on the compilation.” Asterhouse’s versatility is commendable, and we can only hope that this immense strength will result in a sophomore studio album from the band sometime in the near future.
In the meantime, you can follow Asterhouse on Facebook, and keep up with the band through their official website, asterhousemusic.com. Check out their music available for streaming and download/purchase at asterhouse.bandcamp.com Watch the music video for Asterhouse’s dance rock anthem “Sweet, Fragile World” below via YouTube.