Review Summary: Whatever happened to all the New York gentlemen? Well, they're writing classic albums now.
Merriam-Webster defines classic as “serving as a standard of excellence”, in the music industry, excellence is about as rare as finding a four leaf clover in the winter. Forget genre shaping, as albums that come to define the music to come after such a massive release only come around once in a generation. I Am The Avalanche have released a record that has instantly risen the bar for not only pop-punk, but music as a collective. I'm not sure when it exactly became clear that IATA had released such a record, but when it hit me it did so like, well, an avalanche.
is a record that has been 6 years in the making, and the wait has been more than worth the wait. It’s clear immediately that IATA are out for blood, and they’re not going to stay in the traditional mold that frontman Vinnie Caruana helped shape with a little band called The Movielife. We’re talking the musical equivalent of riding a Narwhal into battle against 50 Kodak Bears and a dozen Ligers armed with a camera and a parking cone. Avalanche United
makes a huge splash with the opener Holy *** and rides that wave into a tsunami of excellent pop-punk bliss that will have you singing along and feeling enraged all at the same time.
The guitar work is not technical by any stretch of the imagination, but for a band that leans towards the punk side of pop-punk, the guitar work by Michael Ireland and Brandon Swanson is pretty damn impressive. The palm muting provides the perfect complement to Caruana’s unique style of vocal delivery. Brett Romnes provides drums that are undoubtedly the engine behind the entire machine of that is Avalanche United, keeping this entire train speeding forward without any hint of coming off the tracks completely.
Of course, then there is Vinnie Caruana, who’s harsh vocals assault your eardrums as he pours his heart into each and every word. The passion becomes extremely evident as his singing crosses the line into screaming and yelling that gets your blood flowing and then suddenly switches back to a pitch that would create envy among the best vocalists in the industry. One of my favorite segments on this entire album is the final moment of “Dead Friends”, where after declaring “I’m sick of you being sick of yourself”, Caruana screams from the depth of his soul, and follows the chugging breakdown with “You don’t love anything anymore, we’ve been worried sick for you, and it’s time you came back home” this segment gives me chills literally every time I listen to it.
There’s so much substance to this album that it's almost impossible to pick an absolute favorite track. This album is catchy, it's dark, it's brooding, it's heavy, it's passionate, it's just ***ing good. On the powerful I’ll be Back Around, when Caruana croons “One day we’ll be perfect / one day we’ll all sleep safe and sound” you realize the sheer monumental size of this record, and that maybe that day of perfection has come at least musically for Caruana and the guys in IATA.