Avenue You - The Gravity EP
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: July 23, 2011
Ever struggle with the shrink wrap around a CD and wonder if the music inside would be worth all of the trouble it was taking to open it? That very dilemma ran through my mind as I was furiously attempting to break into Avenue You’s new EP, The Gravity EP. I had to go digging for scissors after stubbornly trying to crack the wrapping with my finger nails. It was frustrating. However, as soon as the first guitar riff came storming into my ears, I experienced nothing but contentment and excitement for the rest of the EP’s 25-minute run time.
Avenue You’s new effort is without a doubt worth any trouble it takes to procure it, and they prove their mastery of the pop-punk genre with every track. Kevin O’Brien (bass/vocals), Steve Doyle (guitar/vocals), Nick Castello (guitar) and Greg Best (drums) have a special, undeniable, attention-commanding energy that is sure to catapult them to the front lines of a much needed pop-punk revolution in today’s music scene.
No track shows that sentiment more aptly than “Lodge Show at 3,” featuring none other than one of the godfathers of the genre, Mike Herrera (MxPx/Tumbledown). The EP’s catchiest offering, it details the thrill of following the dream of playing music for a living and the instrumentals capture that energy and optimism tremendously. Whether it is the frantic drums, the soaring guitars, the infectious bridge or the explosive bass line, this song succeeds in every facet and demands continuous replays. Another track that absolutely shines on the release is “All I Know,” a tender, honest love song that is masterfully constructed so as to build up from the acoustic guitars in the verses to Avenue You’s signature crunchy electric sound. The lyrics express the devotion of two people to each other, with frontman Kevin O’Brien smoothly singing lines like “Are you awake tonight/As I call up to your window/I know you and I/Will share the same last name someday.”
Meanwhile, the other tracks provide enough endearing beats and impressive harmonies to create an entire release that can best be described as melodic bliss. The guitar riffs are strong, each chorus is anthemic, and O’Brien’s vocals are top-notch. Aside from “Do Work” (which could have been more memorable had the band kept it ballad-like as opposed to speeding things up) and the unnecessary use of auto tune in the bridge of “Last Note,” this EP comes about as close to perfect as a young band can get.
Avenue You are a band with a purpose and an innate talent, both of which are obvious on The Gravity EP. Also, considering they already have an impressive debut full-length under their belt, they have proven their staying power. They are going to rise, and listeners would ignore this band at their own peril.