Review Summary: blink 182 and Alkaline Trio's obscure love child.
I discover music in the most random of scenarios. I could be on the bus and overhear somebody blaring their built in iPod speakers, I could be in an intense study session with some friends whilst listening to some 'study jams' or I could even just be going through my dusty record collection and finding some obscure advertisements for other bands on a label. Back when I was still young enough to believe purchasing music off of iTunes was a fair investment, I would download music by the album. Due to this, I would always end up with around 99 cents after my shopping sprees. I never knew what else to waste my money on.. and then I saw Charlie Brown Gets A Valentine
in my recommended section. I was instantly curious. I purchased the song Avalanche
and instantly fell in love. Three years later, I finally went out and bought the album. I was not disappointed.
CBGAV are an interesting type of band. They play a sort of indie pop-punk that can go from calm and subtle (Dismantling Goodbyes
) to throat-shreddingly heartfelt (Aesthetics Of Vice
and February 6th
) to a more alternative style (Avalanche
) flawlessly. They have wonderful sounding tempo-changes, interludes and riffs and experiment just enough, but not so much that it makes the music itself sound experimental. They know they're a pop-punk band, and they make the best of it.
The lyrics throughout are smart and emotional and remind you of classic Alkaline Trio songs. A great example of this would be the song Instruction From Her Hero, A Young Woman On Guitar
. The way the singer utilizes his words is quite nice, if pretty vague at times. Despite the vague-ity (thats not the right word..) of the lyrics, CBGAV throw you a bone and let the music do most of the talking in just the right places. Interludes are a dying art form and CBGAV uses their interludes to their full potential.
The vocalist himself isn't that bad however, he sounds like a 90's era Tom DeLonge, with less of a whine. He emphasizes the right words at the right time, and you can understand most of what he says, but he doesn't really stand out. The selling point of CBGAV are the interludes. The guitars, bass and drums are fairly average on their own, but together they have so much heart and passion it's hard to not fall in love with the musical backdrop. It's like that high school band after graduation playing on their first tour promoting their first album. They love what they do and they will damn well prove it to you.
All together, CBGAV deserve much more recognition. I could barely find any information on them, and other than iTunes, there was no possible way I could have acquired or let alone found this album. CBGAV mix the best of pop punk with just enough changes thrown in along the way to keep you hooked. It's a shame this is their only recording.