I Am The Avalanche start out this self-titled disc with an intensity that reminds one of Vinnie Caruana’s previous band The Movielife. The overall sound of the disc’s beginning track “New Disaster” is still inexorably linked to pop-rock and feels groomed for popular radio, but there is no denying that the music of “Dead and Gone” has a certain edge to it that just was not found in Vinnie’s previous band. The manner in which I Am The Avalanche arranges their songs may not be at the height of experimentation, but there are some impressive times (specifically during “New Disaster”) where the band is simultaneously reaching their listener base on a number of levels.
During “New Disaster”, this is evidenced by the simultaneously virtuosity being shown by the vocals, bass, guitar and drums; there is just nothing in the way of filler to be found on this new act, and the track itself even has a minor flirtation with differing time signatures. Moving into a ska influence for the opening of “Murderous”, even down to the multiple hits of Brett’s vocals, I Am The Avalanche looks back to the late nineties brand of pop-punk (SR-71, New Radicals), while inserting just a minor amount of “Black Balloon-era” Goo Goo Dolls for the proper amount of emotional involvement. While an individual might say that “I Took A Beating’s” arrangement is too uninspired to succeed, there should be no debate on the fact that the music really works with Vinnie’s slightly-stressed but overall smooth vocals. The incorporation of a multiple-part harmony on the track gives listeners hope that they, one day will be able to participate much like the phantom chorus on this track has.
Not slowing down for the later part of the disc, it is a track like “This Is Dungeon Music” that brings I Am The Avalanche to slightly harder pastures. “This Is Dungeon Music” is directly influenced by the metal/punk hybrid that is Sum 41, whether it be the harder guitar riffs or similar vocal stile that Vinnie takes up for the track. Couching “Clean Up” with an acoustic-sounding guitar, the slower tempo of the track is an exercise in differing sounds and tempos, something that I Am The Avalanche is more than able to do on this track. The disc is surprisingly solid, being based much more in the “rock” tradition (actually making arrangements that will make listeners think) than the emo/pop-punk boy band genre that seems to be losing a little steam.
Top Tracks: Clean Up, New Disaster
I Am The Avalanche – S/T / 2005 Drive-Thru / 12 Tracks / http://www.iamtheavalanche.com / http://www.drivethrurecords.com / Reviewed 12 August 2005