Averkiou - Wasted and High [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Wasted and High [7 inch] (2009)

Sound Study

Averkiou isn't your typical Gainesville band. While a lot of groups residing in the vicinity dabble in a form of punk affectionately known by terms such as 'gruff,' 'sloppy' or even 'PBR-fueled,' these guys (pronounced [av-er-kyoo]) are flying the shoegaze flag with unabashed pride, offering a refreshing take on the genre with their new 7", Wasted and High.

The wailing lead guitar of the title track hits the ears of the listener the second the needle drops, and the rest of the track serves as a reminder of what was so wonderful about the genre in the first place -- the distant, echoey wall of sound that presides over every instrument and the seemingly carefree predisposition of the vocals are worthy examples, but the fact that the whole thing is laced with soaring hooks and memorable melodies moves the song from good to great territory rather quickly.

"No One's Holding a Gun to Your Head" takes a nearly completely opposite direction from the A-side, with the band opting for the use of subtle, twinkling guitars and layered, sometimes haunting vocals (especially in the chorus).

The digital download of this release comes with an acoustic track entitled "Jersey," and it's undoubtedly pretty; the band's sound when unplugged is decidedly sunnier and more accessible, but it's not any worse. Just different. The high-pitched "ooh"s that make up the chorus are a nice touch, too.

As an introduction to the band, there's hardly anything wrong with Wasted and High. If anything, it'll pique enough interest for many listeners to check out the band's 2008 full-length Throwing Sparks. Hell, it worked on this reviewer.