Sonic Avenues - Sonic Avenues (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sonic Avenues

Sonic Avenues (2009)

Going Gaga

Sonic Avenues serve up a self-titled stable of '77-indebted punky power-pop songs that should delight fans of the Briefs' more moderated moments or Buzzcocks circa Singles Going Steady. Maybe you could even say the Exploding Hearts...but to even mention them as a comparison still seems a bit generous.

Ten songs and a little bit of fuzz for each, Sonic Avenues stomp stickily sweetly through their album's tidy 27 minutes, compounding a wealth of well-respected influences (Elvis Costello, the Undertones, the Vapors, etc.) into their sound without resorting to any of 'em too tightly. It sounds like one of the guitars is going through some weird pedal that's trying a little hard to sound vintage, but sometimes, like with "I Want You Now," the aesthetic seems more rounded.

As far as tempo and pacing goes, the moderation in both speaks to the restraint in the band's character as far as swagger and attitude go, and makes for a fresh, reserved form for the duration. The catchy centerpiece to this record is "Bleed Me Dry," where the band's intriguing vocal blend of heartbreak and joy seems most pointed. But a little jangle in the guitar certainly doesn't hurt things either, as proven by "Why Can't I (Stop Thinking 'Bout You)".

There's not much more to say, because there's a simplicity to this album that would be undercut by trying to explain it any more. Granted, it does have its garage-minding solos and a fair amount of thoughtful structure to it, but Sonic Avenues have clear intentions and enjoyable results.

Hiding from You
Out of My Head
Girls with Pearls