Avoid One Thing - Avoid One Thing (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Avoid One Thing

Avoid One Thing (2002)


I'm a big fan of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and keep reasonably up to date on what's going on with the band, but as far as this side project from their bassist Joe Gittleman goes, it was completely off my radar. When this showed up on my doorstep, I didn't know what to expect. What it delivers has shades of Hüsker Dü, Jawbreaker, The Replacements and The Pixies. In other words, we have a damn fine rock and roll record.

The Boston four-piece was founded by bassist / vocalist / songwriter Joe Gittleman, best known from The Bosstones and Gang Green. Gittleman is joined by guitarists Paul Delano (Darkbuster, Mung), Amy Griffin (The Raging Teens) and drummer Dave Karcich (Pilfers, Spring Heeled Jack). The band has an interesting pedigree, with the rhythm section from ska bands, and guitarists from both the rockabilly and drum `n bass scenes.

The band delivers a refreshing album of well-written punk rock. The personal lyrics about hometown life, populated with specific characters and situations, are not unlike the lyrics written by Vinnie of Less Than Jake fame. Gittleman's music is poppy at times, but his voice is too deep to be mistaken for the latest batch of whiney emo-influenced pop-punk vocalists. However while deeper, his vocals are honest (if that can describe a sound), there is no macho street punk posturing here. Gittleman is instantly recognisable from his backups on the Bosstone's tracks, and there are definably shades of Bosstone-lead Dickey Barrett's style.

The mixing favours Gittleman's driving bass lines and the song writing is excellent. Stand out tracks are "Rip It Up It's There" and "Next Stop Batteries," both with catchy chorus' and urgent playing. The best song is "Lean On Sheena," which starts out with some creative picking on Gittleman's part and a great build up and an instantly classic sounding chorus. Avoid One Thing is a completely unpretentious and instantly enjoyable rock record.