I Am the Avalanche

I Am the Avalanche

I Am the Avalanche

with Daggermouth, Sadaharu, Farewell

AKA Lounge, Orlando, Fl • Dec. 8, 2007

On the weekend that the greatest rock band in the history of rock ‘n roll made their glorious return to the world of music, I was nursing a beer at the AKA Lounge and wondering how — in the age of contemporary music — we went from Led Zeppelin to the slop I was witnessing on the stage before me.

I Am the Avalanche

Jen Cray
I Am the Avalanche

I Am the Avalanche were at the top of the sloppy bill, and though they were on the better side of the musical spectrum for the night, they were still far from inspiring. The handfuls of fans who crowded the stage and threw themselves at the singer and his outstretched mic may disagree with me, but I call ’em like I see ’em. This was not a good night for modern music.

Farewell

Jen Cray
Farewell

Epitaph’s answer to Fall Out Boy opened the night. Farewell look and sound like Chicago’s emo-centric boy band wonders, and — as would be expected — the floor in front of the stage quickly filled up with teenage girls with too much makeup and elaborate haircuts who sang along to every sugary dripping word that spewed from Marshall Davis’ mouth. These guys jammed out a Green Day song during their sound check, and I have a sneaking suspicion that’s as far back as their musical education may go. I have nothing against Green Day, but I do have something against a pop band posing as pop/punks who don’t even know their own chosen genre’s history.

The next band stepped out wearing matching camouflage t-shirts with their own band’s logo emblazoned on them, sending my hopes for something better than the prior band plummeting. When Sadaharu’s vocalist Jeff Briel — who wears his hair metal long, dons geek glasses on-stage, and sports a very 80’s denim jacket — began by taunting the now-spread-out audience, I was intrigued. When the young crowd didn’t budge at his urging to come closer to the stage, he hopped down into the audience and began leading people by the hands to where he wants them to stand.

Sadaharu

Jen Cray
Sadaharu

The music Sadaharu play is politically charged — though I can only understand one out of every ten words — and sung with an energy that is as much borrowed from post-hardcore bands as it is from the heavy metal world. Briel sucked down PBR and cigarettes during guitar solos, and seemed hell bent on making this young crowd feel something somewhat real. They were easily the best band on the bill, but admittedly, I’m grading on a curve.

Bands like Daggermouth confuse me. Hardcore music, hip hop attitude, a hint of pop/punk melody, and a horrible sense of “fashion” (they wear oversized, stiff-billed baseball caps) adds up to one ridiculous band. They were the crowd favorite — a pit quickly began to build — but I stood at a loss. Rap/rock went down in a cloud of laughter a decade ago, so what makes these hip-hop hardcore acts think that they’re any different? They’re combining the worst aspects of several different genres and thinking they’ll blend together to form something new and exciting, when in fact, the result is obnoxious.

Daggermouth

Jen Cray
Daggermouth

After the display brought forth by Daggermouth, I was ready to pack it up, but I really wanted to give I Am the Avalanche a chance to redeem this disappointing night of music. The hard-to-peg-to-one-genre band from Brooklyn are known for their impressive live shows, and that’s what I had come to see. While the audience — which now included members of all of the opening acts — practically bowed down before the band on-stage, I was once again at a loss in my search for what the big deal about this band could be.

I Am the Avalanche

Jen Cray
I Am the Avalanche

The result of the merging of two semi-known pop/punk acts (The Movielife and Further Seems Forever), IATA are nestled in between the poppier side of hardcore and the more progressive side of the new indie rock (think Sparta). On record they sound like a harder Against Me!, or funkier Lifetime, but on-stage they blended too easily into the backdrop just painted by Daggermouth. Maybe I had just given up hope at this point in the night, because I think that I could have gotten behind IATA’s music had the previous acts really turned me on… but tonight, I just wanted to get out of the club and cleanse my bleeding ears.

To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com

I Am The Avalanche: www.myspace.com/iamtheavalanche

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sean Costello Tribute
    Sean Costello Tribute

    Don’t Pass Me By: A Tribute To Sean Costello (Landslide Records). Review by Michelle Wilson.

  • Phantasmagoria X: “Reckoning”
    Phantasmagoria X: “Reckoning”

    John DiDonna’s medley of creepy stories and trilling dance returns once more with a tour though all the Central Florida hot spots from Deland to Tampa.

  • Killer Nun
    Killer Nun

    Let Anita Ekberg and director Giulio Berruti introduce you to the nunspolitation genre with Killer Nun.

  • The Tree House
    The Tree House

    One of the most highly regarded works to screen at this year’s Locarno Film Festival was Quý Minh Trương’s The Tree House (Nhà cây), a documentary that dramatically utilizes a science fiction lens to simultaneously examine the cultures of multiple ethnic groups in Vietnam while compelling the audience to question the contemporary importance of visual documentation.

  • Disturbed Furniture
    Disturbed Furniture

    Continuous Pleasures (Arevarc Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

    Sleeping your way to the top is one thing, but killing your way up there works a just as well.

  • Deathtrap
    Deathtrap

    A writer hits a dry spell and then murders his wife, all in the name of making a hit.

  • Cabin of Fear
    Cabin of Fear

    Campers freak out when a murderer is on the loose and they have no cell phone reception.

  • Jake La Botz
    Jake La Botz

    They’re Coming For Me (Hi-Style / Free Dirt). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Howlin Rain
    Howlin Rain

    Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts, Volume 1 (Silver Current Records). Review by Michelle Wilson.

From the Archives