Ashnikko is nothing short of an alt-pop powerhouse. The last few years have seen prolific output from Ashnikko: whether it be hyperpop flavours or trap masterclasses, she’s proven she can do it all, in a truly unique and head-turning fashion. Bold visuals and an assertive and committed mindset toward her sound, she has crafted her very own world, which is now being displayed in the form of her debut full length record. ‘WEEDKILLER’ denies boundaries, the album telling the story of a post-apocalyptic land marred by machines, burned by environmental breakdown. Ashnikko’s rebellious nature is paramount on this project, also showing off a more vulnerable and exposed side she hasn’t toyed with within her music thus far. The end result is a whirlwind of a record, difficult to define, but a sheer joy to listen to.
‘Chokehold Cherry Python’ is potentially the nucleus of this record, packing in everything that makes ‘WEEDKILLER’ the album it is. Bubble-gum pop hooks are colliding head on with industrial drums, heavy guitars and pulsating basses, a bizarre but brilliant blend of metal, hip-hop and a dash of techno for good measure. The title track also succeeds in the shapeshifting nature of much of Ashnikko’s work, a brutal trap beat paired with cinematic percussion and a slickly curated balance of raps and melodic vocal passages.
‘Dying Star’, the closing track, features none other than Florida starlet Ethel Cain – whose own brand of cinematic and spine-tingling world building tore across the industry with the release of her debut record, 2022’s ‘Preacher’s Daughter’. On this cut, it does feel a middle ground between the two artists: sombre and melancholic guitar passages front the first half of the track, before descending into the dark, atmospheric electronica Ashnikko is so well-known for.
Ashnikko has successfully moulded and created a visceral, vivid world in which she reigns supreme. The beats are colourful, Ashnikko’s performances flitting between smooth delivery and rapid-fire, frantic bars. ‘WEEDKILLER’ assures that Ashnikko is one of the most unique artists working today, her brand her own, her music idiosyncratic and immediately recognisable. The thematic string throughout ‘WEEDKILLER’ is extremely present, the messages bold whilst never sacrificing the integrity and quality of the tracks.
Words: James Mellen