Someone should clone the voice of Avec's
Shawna Potter-her dangerously sexy vocals are the highlight
of an intriguing and genre challenging record from this
Baltimore four piece. Beginning with her breathy intro
on the opening "While You're Down There", Potter
clearly establishes herself as a star waiting to explode,
while Brooks Harlan offers a suitable counter to Potter's
ethereal singing...the two of them make for an impressive
tag-team on "Imprinting".
Musically, the band will entice fans of
pop and rock...channel[ing] Parallel Lines-era Blondie
at times, before shifting gears to more darkly textured
tracks such as "Deceptive Cadence" and "Mandragora".
Most impressive here is the constant, but
not unnecessary, shifting of tempo and styles. The band
did not attempt to force itself into defying its own sound,
they simply moved effortlessly from atmospheric beauty
to raunchier, guitar-bitten angst. Give this multiple
spins, for this band is the musical equivalent of a brilliant
author; there are subtleties to notice each time you listen.
Rich Quinlan, Jersey Beat
8/10 There must be a resurgence I
didn't know about, what with a greater lot of bands doing
the crunchy girl rock thing, reminding me of the days
of Sarge and P.E.E. - Del Cielo, Scout, Bagheera - and
now Avec. I'm sort of surprised they didn't call me, as
I could probably at least squeeze out a backing vocal
of "Oohs" or "Aahs," or "He ain't
no good," but oh well. There's some potential lost
Of these existing, non-pipe dream girlie
bands, however, Avec's time signatures are a bit more
interesting than most, and their vibe tends to jibe more
with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Denali - so they've got some
grit under their fingernails. This is feminine post-emo
for kids who still unabashedly love emo
guys who haven't entirely given up on the Emo Diaries
comps, if even for that one standout single, and the girls
who know more about Saves the Day than Bikini Kill.
Luckily for Avec, though, they're far better
than all that. There's a whole other audience out there
that may not even know they exist. It's a pity, really,
and hopefully their relative obscurity won't last long.
They know how to tap into a more dynamic,
rich sound, and they bask in their own complexity. On
"While You're Down There," the depth comes from
the vocals, where breathlessness turns into a roar, with
frequent, pouty change-ups and melodrama. "16 Minus
71" adds smartness of guitars, beginning as a torch
song and ending as a massacre, with sweetly stinging post-rock
aesthetics keeping you on your toes. "Beat of Pulse"
may even remind you of those glorious early days of Q
and Not U, but with a brazen, yowling female filling in
over the schisms.
"Deceptive Cadence" and "Momenta"
continue the trend of bright, challenging rock, with rippling
harmonies, empowered energy and bubbling discomfort. It
is as though Engine Down and Rainer Maria got together
to ponder their own philosophies and find their common
ground. Emotions and volume begin to rise, but there is
a heartening intersection of those two distinct sounds
that make Avec's amalgamation that much more worthwhile.
They've got something good here, in the
wiles of femininity and the strains of guitar
if they didn't ask me.
Sarah Peters, Lost At Sea.com
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