Ashnikko, “WEEDKILLER” (Warner Music UK Limited)
Are all you girls, gays and theys out there feeling a little fed up? Maybe more than a little? Ashnikko is, too.
The blue-haired singer-songwriter, rapper and producer born Ashton Nicole Casey, who rose to fame with her 2019 TikTok-viral hit “STUPID”, is known by her growing fanbase for filter-less anthems of empowerment and sexual liberation.
The artist, who uses the pronouns she and they, evolves from her demidevil alter ego into a dystopian fantasy world fairy creature on her debut studio album, the concept record “WEEDKILLER.”
This delightfully dark 13-track full-length is feminine rage unleashed in the magical universe created by Ashnikko, as seen in her full-realized music videos and heard on the album’s first track, “World Eater.”
In the eerie opener, Ashnikko embodies a ruthless cyborg in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the enemies are machines.
She gets gross and gory with following tracks “You Make Me Sick” and “Worms,” then sexy and saucy with “Super Soaker (feat. Daniela Lalita)” and “Don’t Look at It.”
This album is slimy and rotten, bratty and feral — in all the best ways, of course. It’s a reclamation of bodily autonomy and femininity that embraces mess and spits in the face of gender expectations.
The climax of the narrative is undoubtably the album’s namesake “WEEDKILLER.” The accompanying music video shows a final boss battle between Ashnikko and a biomatter-eating mech, a metaphor for environmental destruction. The song ends, and Ashnikko is victorious. She stabs the defeated bot repeatedly, shrieking all the while.
After letting it all out, Ashnikko end the album with a surprisingly tender song. “Dying Star (feat. Ethel Cain)” yearns for somewhere soft and safe to land.
“I’m tired of the dirt and grit,” Ashnikko croons. “I want something soft.”
The song is a heart-wrenching finale to the story Ashnikko tells in “WEEDKILLER,” and it’s a beautiful end to an epic album.
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