Posted on: July 7, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Tim Barry – Rivanna Junction / 2006 Suburban Home / 10 Tracks / / /

Tim Barry is one of the member of Avail. Avail was an integral part of the melodic punk scene in the late nineties. “Rivanna Junction” starts out with “Trash Inspirations”, a track that goes the alt-country route taken by Lucero. At some point, Barry is still a practitioner of punk music, and this blend of styles should be appealing to fans of both genres. Three minutes in, and the track conks out. “Avoiding Catatonic Surrender” is a much more slow and pensive track than “Trash Inspirations”. But Barry’s vocals take the Mellencamp track to kick up the tempo.

The slower instrumentation and quicker vocals make for an interesting track, and this will drive individuals into the disc like no other.  “Dog Bumped” is the track that most conforms to the classic country style that Barry uses; the subject matter is taken right out of a fifties country song. The walking bass line further solidifies the fact that Barry is very influenced by this earlier style of music. Each of the songs are catchy in their own right, but Barry has a problem during “Rivanna Junction” with creating a song that will be sung by fan and random listener alike. “Church of Level Track” is a track that is close to where Barry needs to go, but is just too slow and morose to really inspire listeners. The tempo of this song closely approximates the 4 Non Blondes hit “What’s Up”. “Exit Wounds” moves Barry back to the punk that gave eir everything, and this is where it seems like Barry succeeds the most. It is when Barry is able to add some anger, some fury to eir vocals that the disc starts to succeed. Unfortunately, “Exit Wounds” is one of the few tracks on “Rivanna Junction” that does that.

There is no doubting that Barry has a tremendous ability around eir, but it just seems like this collection of tracks are not the strongest, not at a level that Barry is definitely capable of. Hopefully Barry can buckle down and come up with a stronger collection of tracks. If ey can do that, the next album will be on the level of the aforementioned Lucero or even at the level of the now defunct Latterman. Check up on this next album, and hopefully the songs will be on the whole stronger than they were on “Rivanna Junction”. Wait it out until the next album.

Top Tracks: Exit Wounds, Steel Road

Rating: 4.0/10

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