Ashnikko – ‘WEEDKILLER’ review: art-pop meets alt-rock in this experimental debut

Returning with her highly-anticipated debut album, Ashnikko doubles down on heavy electro-pop production and candid lyrics.


Ashnikko never misses. From the moment she released her debut single ‘Krokodil’ in 2016 it quickly became apparent that the music industry was not ready for what she would go onto unleash. Since then, the artist has laid down the groundwork for her idiosyncratic creative vision, developing it with the use of fantasy-inspired music videos, quirky costume changes and damn horny lyrics. Throughout her career the artist has come back time and time again with unholy bangers with flaccid one-liners and seductive hooks. A discography truly full to the brim of hard-hitting anthems purely for the pleasure of the girlies, the theys and the gays, Ashnikko is a true creative vision with an infectious charisma.

Starring as our May digital cover, it’s fair to say we may or may not be a little obsessed with her forthcoming album. Out this Friday, if there’s one thing for certain it’s that this project definitely highlights just how consistent Ashnikko is as an artist. Effortlessly creating an accumulation of some of her best work into a tracklist of 13 alternative pop-edged anthems, ‘WEEDKILLER’ is an obnoxiously addictive and humorously sharp-witted project that feels like her through and through. 

From the exhilarating opener of ‘World Eater’ to the daunting disposition of ‘You Make Me Sick!’, the artist takes you through light to dark tendencies one track at a time. Having established a love for fantasy it’s no surprise to see her delve into this theme further, creating a dystopian universe from which to explore our own. From the disturbing cult-like chant driven in ‘Cheerleader’, to the fanciful delicacy of ‘Moonlight Magic’, from start to finish Ahsnikko takes listeners through a voyage of fanciful realms. 


A particular album stand-out is the cut-throat ‘Chokehold Cherry Python’ – a sultry distortion of rock-edged production and sexy lyrics, this track is so chaotically iconic it’s almost arousing… And that’s the thing about Ashnikko, her artistry is such a strong force between being empowering and yet simultaneously extremely silly. 

Album title ‘WEEDKILLER’ is just as menacing and mysterious as its title commands. Full of plenty of warped production and distinctive vocal high-to-lows, it’s no surprise why the artist has used this track in particular to represent the album.

In the lead up to its release Ashnikko has shared stand-out tracks ‘You Make Me Sick!’, ‘Worms’, ‘Cheerleader’, ‘WEEDKILLER’ and ‘Possession of a Weapon’ with stimulating music videos. Ashnikko’s aesthetic is consistent: an artist who has effortlessly created her own digital footprint. As ‘WEEDKILLER’ weaves from avant-garde pop to alternative rock and trap, it’s the work of an artist, unafraid to experiment.

Tackling themes of consumption and trauma, ‘WEEDKILLER’ is also a brilliantly dark and somewhat intrusive deep dive into the artist’s psyche. Speaking about this Ashnikko says: “[‘WEEDKILLER’ is] loads of heartbreak, pain, and stories that I can relate to my own life. The Weedkillers represent many enemies, both ecological and personal.” Transferring her trauma into tracks that her fans can sing along to, Ashnikko flips the switch on what she was once consumed by. Deliberately wearing her heart on her sleeve, the artist shows off a deeper vulnerability than we’ve seen from her before. Whilst this project is executed in a fun, candid way there’s a sinister underlayer to its meaning that makes it such a raw and introspective piece. 

No stranger to a ballad, the artist completes this album with the heartfelt release ‘Dying Star’ featuring additional vocal arrangements from Ethel Cain. Throughout ‘WEEDKILLER’ Ashnikko has returned with a project with plenty of hidden messages and clever references to catch onto upon each listen. It’s not often you stumble across an album that makes you feel like you can listen to it with a fresh pair of ears each time. A truly stunning and fanciful project to say the least, with plenty of her animated and loveable charisma to carry you through some of its darker and sadder moments. 

READ MORE: Ashnikko interviewed: “I feel grief and heartbreak for my country”

Ashnikko - 'Weedkiller'
ashnikko-weedkiller-album-reviewRelease date: August 26 2023