Review Summary: A very good Pop/Punk CD that is held back by the fact that it's all been done before.
Every Avenue, an American Pop Punk band is made up of:
* David Ryan Strauchman - vocals, piano
* Joshua Randall - guitar
* Jimmie Deeghan - guitar/backup vocals
* Matt Black - bass/backup vocals
* Michael Govaere - drums
When I had heard this CD's lead single "Where Were You"" and could not get the song out of my head for a few days, I knew I needed this CD. After picking it up, it only took one listen to know that I had picked a very fun and catchy record that lived up to the single.
The first song on this CD, "Days of the Old", is a good example of what to expect: good vocal melodies, catchy guitar hooks, and...Pretty average lyrics. This is however, a CD where I can forgive the occasionally weak lyric. This song moves into "This One's a Cheap Shot", which is pretty forgettable upon first listen, but after hearing it a few more times, it is just as good as "Days of the Old". Both of these opening songs are catchy, but as soon as "This One's a Cheap Shot" reaches it's end and leads into "Where Were You"", you might
almost forget about them, as the word "catchy" doesn't even begin to describe this CD's lead single.
Unfortunately, after that great song, a bit of monotony sets in as "Think of you Later (Empty Room) comes around. The vocals seem a bit forced, and what builds for a fantastic chorus falls short. It is saved by "A Story to Tell Your Friends" which is a bit on the slower side, but it's chorus is just as strong as the band's faster songs.
David Ryan Strauchman is a very capable vocalist, even though he can let you down on the occasional song. The two backup vocalists support him well, and together they craft some great melodies. David's lyrics aren't fantastic, but I wouldn't call them bad. Even when he does sing some bad lines, his earnest vocals will more often then not win you over and forgive him.
The next few songs are your standard pop punk fare, which is the biggest issue with this CD. Every Avenue hasn't really thought of anything new to bring the the pop punk table. Some riffs may remind you of things by Paramore or Panic at the Disco. Nothing really sucks, and nothing really stands out, at least not until the song "Freak Out!". With a title like that, it was all I could do to skip it upon first listen, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. The song starts with what sounds like a riot of some kind, which moves into a good guitar riff. The songs chorus is good, with some good vocal harmonies in the verses. After the second chorus, there's a pretty good guitar solo. The outro is preformed by violins that slowly fade out.
The last piece of the band, the rhythm section, is quite good. The drumming is always good, and while Michael never plays any mind blowing fills, he keeps the songs going. He shines the most on "Where Were You". The bass is hard to hear on some songs, but when he is heard, there is no question that he is as talented as the rest of the band, most notably on the CD's closer "Chasing the Night".
To summarize this CD, I can only say two words that I know I probably over use in my reviews: Fun and Catchy. If you're not a fan of pop or punk, this CD won't win you over, but is certainly not a bad CD. If you like pop, punk, or anything even slightly catchy then this CD is absolutely for you.
Days of the Old
Where Were You"
A Story to Tell Your Friends