Getting Friday started on a positive note, so we wanted share this review we just saw…
(photo by Julian Gilbert)
Six years after their release of the self-titled I Am the Avalanche, Vinnie Caruana and co. are back with their latest effort Avalanche United. For an album inspired by Caruana’s visit to hell and back in his life, you would probably expect a dose of whiney crap, right? Wrong. It’s clear from the first few minutes that this is going to be an upfront and brutally honest record, and I Am the Avalanche doesn’t disappoint.
Kicking off with Holy Fuck, a track which manages to encompass all of the albums inspirations into just under three minutes, Vinnie Caruana (ex-Movielife) quickly establishes himself as the spokesman for everyone that’s ever been through a rough time. There’s an underlying sense of optimism littered throughout the track, perhaps most notably in the lyric “I’ve sorted out my life, my tragic life,” and against the gang vocals and catchy hooks, it makes for a perfect pop-punk opener.
What’s really special about the delivery on even the slightly weaker songs - like Amsterdam - is Caruana’s ability to deliver the lyrics with conviction in his notably harsh tone. Everything he sings, or even screams, is definitely something almost every listener will be able to relate to in some way. Caruana has a lot to say for himself on this record, but I Am the Avalanche really do cover every possible bit of ground here, from the breakdown of relationships, to the resolution of his own problems, to the importance of his friends to him in the likes of Dead Friends.
Avalanche United is an album of contrast; it’s undoubtedly a display of Caruana facing his demons in the likes of Is This Really Happening? Despite that, there’s still a lot of light heartedness, particularly in This One’s on Me, which stays true to form and is delivered in the same way as most other tracks up to this point – catchy and seemingly shorter than it really is. The album is far from being overproduced and if nothing else, showcases I Am the Avalanche for what they really are – five people making real music, and writing about things that matter.
For me, this really is what punk rock should be. Ballsy anthems sung with raw emotion, faced paced guitars, melodic gang vocals and heavy drum beats. For me, the six year wait was definitely worth it, because Avalanche United isn’t a record I’ll be forgetting about any time soon.