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8 out of 10
Finding a way to combine the pop sensibilities of rock dignitaries like Jimmy Eat World with the technicality of a Fall of Troy and the power of an Alexisonfire is surely a recipe for success right? Well Closure in Moscow have certainly found a way to do that, but Avosetta seem to be the new kids on the block to have a go.
Fair play to them, they have had a pretty good stab at it. But there is a difference between 'being influenced by' and 'borrowing heavily from', a distinction at times that Avosetta need to work harder on learning. It seems the spirit (or more accurately, voice) of Dallas Green himself has been summoned on the preposterously titled: Snakecharm the Dead Whale, and Of Our Lives definitely could be a Closure in Moscow song if the tempo changes were tightened up a little bit.
But, at least they picked decent bands to try and emulate so I won't begrudge them that.
Luckily for Avosetta they have created a pretty phenomenal EP here, and aside for a few minor gripes, I can't recommend this enough. Credit definitely goes out to the production crew behind this, technical music like this needs to be crystal clear while retaining the punch of a rawer production. It sounds oxymoronic to say that, but if you need an example of what that sounds like, check out this EP.
The combination of the heavier elements is perfectly balanced by the clear knack for a hook and chorus that this band possesses by the bucket load. Lead song Of Our Lives can probably take the rosette for being the best song on the EP (despite a little dodgy transition between verse and the first chorus), the technical guitar work works with the driving rhythm section that can only be described as flawless. The vocal work is surprisingly apt for this genre, and aside from some ill-advised screaming (something that pops up again on the EP like a turd in a swimming pool - and about as welcome) I can have no criticism of the singer here.
This EP has grown on me rapidly. Too many bands can be respected as musicians but dismissed as poor songwriters, Avosetta sidestep this by crafting four songs that work first and foremost as a song instead of a vehicle for musicianship. As Avosetta develop it is clear they will need to establish a more unique voice, but that will come with time, and for now it is easy enough to enjoy what is a fantastic EP.
1. Of Our Lives
2. Snakecharm the Dead Whale
3. Syncopated Heartbeat
4. Warship Lantern