Grown Up Avenger Stuff – Alive Review By John Tait

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Exploding into your world from track one, this lively rock group from North Carolina is currently touring after the release last year of their CD Alive. I would liken their style to many alternative icons, and it’s no shock they quote Queens of the Stone Age as an influence. Alive is a selection of tracks that are pretty diverse, but their lively diversity keeps you listening!

For a start, I would say a few rock genres that have all but bowed out gracefully, are kept alive a little on…Alive. I say this because we hear catchy pop hooks, plenty of attitude and no nonsense definition (punk rock), as well as distorted guitars and dynamics (grunge).

There are five tracks that achieve this, and the first, Morning Noon and Night is no slow build up – but a feisty rock and roll track, akin to Wolfmother. It’s a song about loyalty to the end, with some nice jazzy drumming to compliment the explosive guitars. Deirdre Kroener pulls no punches with the vocals, making them powerful and threatening without the need for screams.

GUAS1Things are more gradual in the second track Now. The verses are chucked out in mouthfuls to John Thomsens soft guitars and the song as a whole gives hints of the Seattle Sound, especially Pearl Jam. I liked the lyrical content though, I think it speaks volumes about the lack of place today’s youth have, especially with the fragmented existence an insane level of communication can give us – “It’s confusing me, eroding me, eluding me, it’s starting to scare me”. The explosive chorus is brought out with deep exciting drums. Oh and check out the video as well for an interesting minimal take.

Track three opens up in the style of modern indie and maintains it. We are expecting another grungy tirade but the band flex their indie muscles with a bass line similar to classical alberti and verses that are sung with passionate reserve. All the while, Here delivers the mood of the song, which is love induced worry, with enough energy to keep the band light-hearted. It’s fun to listen to but can be taken seriously if need be (punk rock emerging again?) In the verses we hear a nice guitar climb, and the song can be pretty funky in stages.

The bass player in this band is pretty inventive, and with the track Perfect we have a song about changing oneself and putting faith in machinery, all to the background of some Rage against the Machine style drumming-bass combinations. It changes tempo to deliver a foreboding chorus “All I have to say is: this machine will make you perfect. There’s a price to pay, but baby it’s so worth it.” There is no disappointment with the last track, which takes its time a little but shows the bands unpredictability with the surprise introduction of thundering drums, furious choruses and a sense of meandering in the versus.

There are many bands I could compare these guys to, but they are and ought to be forging things for themselves. Light-hearted, experimental, funky and vocally wrathful; I think their strength lies in their catchy hooks and interesting lyrical content.

Grown Up Avenger Stuff are due to release a full album in the first half of 2013.

Alive is currently available on i-tunes

www.grownupavengerstuff.com

By John Tait

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