I Am The Avalanche - Avalanche United (3Wise Records)

Do you like Green Day etc?
Release Date: 
14 Oct 2011 - 12:30am

Don’t get me wrong; I love a bit of punk. I just don’t like pop-punk, and from what I can gather I Am The Avalanche fall into this category, so my bias is made clear before this review begins.

Avalanche United is the band’s second album since their self titled album of 2005 (apparently their old label Drive Thru went, to use an industry expression, ‘tits up’); there were contract issues hence no releases/recording for IATA for some time but now they’re with 3Wise and everything’s just dandy.

The opener Holy Fuck immediately makes me think that if you like Green Day or Blink 182 then you’ll like this (I don’t not wish to cast aspersions about the mental/physical age of such persons). It’s all crunchy guitars and ‘raw’ vocals. In fact, the whole album is pretty much summed up in the opening track so no need for me to continue...

Oh, alright then. I will.

Track two, Brooklyn Dodgers, is a homage to the band’s hometown and is jammed full of American references. It’s not overly complex but, as mentioned previously, if you like pop-punk, then you’ll dig this.

Amsterdam is a jaunty retelling of a visit to said city. Yes, we all understand the ethos behind punk; it isn’t overly complex but three tracks in and I’m getting a distinct whiff of ‘same old, same old’. I’ll Be Around is no different; perhaps American pop-punk requires a younger ear (I admit that my ear trumpet doesn’t work as well as it did in 1895). I hear IATA put on an awesome live show, which is perhaps what the music needs; a live setting?

Is This Really Happening? is formulaic punk to me. I suspect the over-saturation of Green Day etc has dulled my enjoyment of the genre. Reviews for this album having been scorchingly good so what am I missing? Nurse says ‘a piece of your brain’...

This One’s On Me reminds me that heavy drinking often contributes to the enjoyment of tunes so I woof down several beers but alas! To no avail. Still sounds a tad weak to me, even if it is a drinking song. Dead Friends is next and has (as the title suggests) a heavy topic yet those perky, crunchy guitars are still present; at least the bass isn’t hidden way in the mix. You’ve Got Friends highlights the solid production of this album and I do not dispute vocalist Vinnie Caruana’s honesty or integrity.

The Gravedigger’s Argument features Bayside’s Anthony Raneri, who adds a silkier tone to the track, complimenting Caruana’s rawer vocals and Casey’s Song makes me conclude that if you like this genre, then you’ll love this album. The Place You Love Is Gone is all catchy guitar hooks (there is a distinct lack of breakdowns and massive distortion on this album) and Gratitude reminded me a tad of Ween. Summer’s Back Again is a bonus track for the Australian market so go grab yourself a copy of Avalanche United if you dig this sort of thing. I don’t but then I’m old, deaf and cranky, with bits of my brain missing...