If Jamey Jasta, Hatebreed frontman and former host of MTV’s Headbangers Ball, ever gets sick of the music biz, the dude could probably make a decent living as a motivational speaker. Take the lyrics from “In Ashes They Shall Reap,” a song from his long-running hardcore band’s new self-titled album: “Born to bleed, fighting to succeed, built to endure what this world throws at me.” Subtract the chugging riffs and one could make a pretty solid case for herding a bunch of high-schoolers into an auditorium and setting Jasta loose to bark at them about taking charge and rising above their obstacles. Not that he shows any signs of giving up the rock; a hardcore lifer, the band’s fifteen year progression has found them clinging steadfast to the standards of mosh-inducing breakdowns and vaguely supremacist imagery while subtly incorporating death and doom metal stylings and showing no sign of abandoning the group’s HxCx ethics. On second thought let’s not remove the band from Jasta’s motivational career, let’s send a bunch of guidance seeking high schoolers to the band’s upcoming gig - the ensuing throw-down between moronic skinheads and confused sophomores will likely be as entertaining as anything happening on stage.
Wed., Nov. 25, 5:30 p.m., 2009
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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.