How do you do, ladies and gentlemen? This is Ben “reviewing Avenpitch’s CD” Varkentine, saying use Ink 19 for your cultural needs, we’ve got baubles and bangles and bright shiny beads.
This is Ben “Omega Point” Varkentine telling all you music geeks to read Ink 19, because though we may not be up there with Rolling Stone and the brass, at least we write about music and not Christina Aguilera’s ass.
Well, here I am at Avenpitch’s CD; Avenpitch, that’s a synth pop band for people who would like synth pop if it wasn’t for all that melody. Yes sir, this is synth pop until the suburban garage sound kicks in, then it’s synth slop.
There are four men here in Avenpitch, each playing some assortment of guitars, keyboards and drums. The keyboards lose, but you have to give ’em a lot of credit — they really came to play.
The opening song, “Wreckage,” is what the publicity department describes as “a bare-knuckle breakbeat.” I say if you’re already broken and beaten, it’s time to knuckle down to the bare essentials, which in the case of this genre means break out the infectious three-minute pop. Unfortunately, Avenpitch are not exactly Duran Duran in that department, and yes, I do mean that as an insult. Sounding like a band who want to play around with Hi-NRG while avoiding that sound’s inherent gayness (not meaning to imply they’re homophobes), Avenpitch — not Avencatch — will no doubt be a big hit with boys who like noise that annoys.
To their credit, they are trying to innovate, but thrashed satellite rock — I just made that up — doesn’t play as well as well as you’d naturally suspect. Speaking of “satellites,” that’s the name of one of the handful of successful songs here, but it’ll still be frustrating for those of you who are suckers for a good or even intelligible lyric.
“Walrus Teeth” is an additional song that hits the target, which just goes to show that anything does if you throw it hard enough. Another good one is “Replay,” but not so good that you’ll want to. And finally, “Sisyphus” may define the uphill battle these men have in front of them. Just when they’re starting to take heart, some obnoxious critic kicks the rock (dig it — the *rock*) down to the bottom of the mountain. I wouldn’t put up with it, if I were them.
There are some things you can’t escape. But enough about P. Diddy. (Except — he’s not human, I tell you! Who would have thought you could have all of the nutsyness of Prince with none of the genius? But I digress.)
To get back to the music — and for the moment there ain’t no place else to go — a second thing you can’t escape is that old generations are always skeptical of new ones. And that may be why, for all my love of electro-pop, Avenpitch makes me want to spit.