Ashnikko has been under my radar for a while, namely due to the singles that have been leading up to this debut mixtape, as she is presenting a blend of genres that is quite distinctive, truly displaying a signature sound that comes off as thoroughly unique to me, as nothing that I’ve listened to before is quite similar to “DEMIDEVIL”.
I consider that the most focal point of the mixtape is to showcase what she is capable of doing as an artist and not necessarily to propose an effort that is worth listening to on its own and that would only explain the excessive amount of singles leading up to it in relation to the total number of songs on the record, as those are primarily the ones that stand out during its full-length. The essential aesthetic that Ashnikko exposes is perfectly captured on the opening track “Daisy”, or really on any of the singles for that matter, but this one is the most crucial since it’s the first and her most popular too. On it she is at her best, delivering this slick fusion of a cheap indie pop atmosphere, pop rap elements and electropop production, such idiosyncratic amalgamation that only happens to be the most predominant one that shows up during the full project.
I was really looking forward to enjoying this as a whole, even though I’m admittedly and clearly not the prime audience that her music is attempting to appeal to. I already had a predisposed affinity for the singles, so I was only a little disappointed to hear no other song catching up to their merit, apart from a couple rare examples. For someone as talented and as quirky as Ashnikko, some cuts on this record pan out to be surprisingly bland, as I only assume that all the imminent junction of an immoderate quantity of genres ended up just cancelling out any possible wit that may come with the tracks themselves.
On paper, this should’ve been way better than it turned out to be, but the main explanation that I came up with when thinking about why this ended up being nothing more than a decent record is that “DEMIDEVIL” simply aims to be a collection of simple bangers, despite Ashnikko’s peculiar personality and style, it is severely lacking in ambition, this type of effort could be, and probably will be, pulled off in the future in a much more desired way if the goals are more strictly set, but, as of now, this is simply a group of songs that were worked on overnight and that not much thought went into, as it merely strives to spawn a few hits, which it already did with the singles.
As with anybody, there are definitely some aspects of Ashnikko’s approach that I’m not the biggest fan of, in this case it is namely her attempt at infusing this new generation humor into her songwriting, which can particularly be heard on the closer “Clitoris! The Musical”. It is painfully obvious that lyricism isn’t her strong suit and I’m not holding that against her, as if the quality of the sonic landscape itself held more advantages I would’ve been able to look past the songwriting flaws, but it just relies too heavily on shock value and lands as an endeavour that doesn’t turn out to be too compelling to listen to.
She is someone that is delivering quite the full package at first sight, presenting a debut mixtape that is filled to the brim with slick rapping and proficient singing which do not exhibit many flaws in their entirety, also accompanied by production that sounds very high-grade. I only consider that, even though it gives off this feeling of listening to something grandiose, it still showcases itself to be spotty at points, as in a lot of cases it doesn’t quite strive in providing that electropop punch and reveals itself to be rather skeletal in many ways.
Anyhow, I think this is a great attempt at trying to pull off this extremely bizarre pop rap style affiliated with a number of other genres too. Ashnikko is exceedingly eccentric and her personality collides well with the overall methodology she is riding along with and, more importantly, she is supplying hooks that are insanely catchy, for the most part, and hitting the listener with exceptionally unpredictable vocal performances all throughout this effort. It’s only that the full result is sadly a bit shabby, but that’s not too big of a deal, as there are lots of replayable tracks to be taken out of this endeavour and I think there’s a massive room for improvement in the future.
Favorite tracks: Daisy, Toxic, Deal With It and Cry.
Least favorite tracks: Drunk With My Friends and Clitoris! The Musical.