The Early November start out their side of the split with a demo version of â€œOutsideâ€, a track that does have a certain amount of grittiness to it that is not enough to muffle the Weezer-like sounds that issue from the band during the track. There seems to be a certain meandering quality to this track that makes the track feel a little more repetitive and episodic that perhaps it should be; the authoritative ending to â€œOutsideâ€ does much to combat this tendency. The live version of â€œEver So Sweetâ€ shows The Early November as a master of stoking the passion that resides within the hearts of every audience member; while this could be rife with errors, the band shows a maturity in arrangement that really mirrors the quality of studio. In â€œEver So Sweetâ€, the vocal qualities present far surpass the instrumentation on the track; allowing listeners to float on a sea of melody, the trackâ€™s money shot is when the entire crowd throws in to the chorus, allowing a raw power to shine through even when the vocals show a very human brand of weakness. While the two tracks may not be a good introduction to The Early November, both â€œOutsideâ€ and â€œEver So Sweetâ€ really give fans another look into what may be the most prolific band of the early millennium (as we speak, they are working on a triple CD under the tutelage of Chris Badami).
The immediate different in style between The Early November and I Am The Avalanche is shown during the opening chords of â€œNew Disasterâ€. With a snotty vocal style that is almost a mix of Simple Plan and Sum 41, I Am The Avalanche come forth with the ultimate in road trip music. The anger present in a track like â€œNew Disasterâ€ is shown not only through the screamed-out vocals but the intense guitar lines that are interspersed through the track. While the typical guitar lines tend to mix into a fuzz, the different vocal trills and busy style of the track ensure that listeners will not get bored in the slightest. What may just be the most impressive track on this split is the â€œacousticâ€ version of â€œI Took A Beatingâ€. The more earthy sound of the track really pushes the vocals to the forefront and provide the track with even more of a frenetic energy. The bridges interspersed with piano lines are some of the most catchy arrangements not only in â€œemoâ€ music but very possibly in ANY music put forth this year.
Top Tracks: The Early November: Ever So Sweet; I Am The Avalanche: I Took A Beating
The Early November / I Am The Avalanche â€“ Split / 2005 Drive-Thru / 4 Tracks / http://www.theearlynovember.net / http://www.iamtheavalanche.com / Reviewed 21 October 2005