Avenade - It's a Whimsical Afterlife
Jul 7, 2020

Good god.

In the AOTY community, there are multiple artists that are being held in high regard as musicians/artists who have have been testing what user generated content can be, and pushing the bounds of independent artists. Orchid, RockGati, and Ken M, just for examples.

And then, there is one artist that seem to be unanimously adored in the AOTY Camp. An artist that seems to have acceded from just mere 'AOTY Artist' to become a legitimate artist whose output has been both captivating, interesting and extremely impressive for the limitations the artist has.

Ladies and Gentlemen. It's been a Whimsical Afterlife.

When I first listened to this album back in the final moments of 2019, I knew that Avenade was something amazing. From those first harrowing clashes of chords, distortion, noise, breaths and drum hits, combined with an explosion of melody and thunderous songwriting on the first track 'Skydiving in the City', I knew that Avenade was something special that set a new gold standard for what you could do as an independent artist in my eyes. Combining elements of shoegaze, alt rock, noise rock, industrial and post-hardcore with small dribbles of dream pop, ambient, indie rock and folk. It's like if My Chemical Romance never got the mainstream success and instead lived under a basement for decades, festering their angst and reforming to come back with pure fury.

The songwriting is euphoric, with giant hooks, vicious verses, and angst as hell lyrical content that feel like a self deprecating spit to the face to all that hear it. Hell, songs like 'Just Smile and Wave, Boys', 'Skydiving in the City', and 'Closed Fists and Battle Antics' remind me of tracks that flooded rock radio stations back in the 2000s, but with much more bite, vigor and pure unadulterated POWER. And that's only scratching the surface on the chaos this album can bring, with tracks like 'Obsession', 'Trainwreck' and 'Painfully Please' feeling like i'm gonna die listening to them with how distorted the guitars are, how powerful the drums are, how in your face the vocals are in their performance. If I saw this album live, i'd kneel down and submit myself to a diety of some sort (Side Note: Once the US sort out whatever the hell they are doing to combat the COVID-19 virus (STAY INSIDE!!!), more noise rock artists need to come and play in NZ, i've been missing that tinnitus).

That being said, this isn't just all chaos all the time. While i'm in love with the sheer volume of anger this album brings at times, the slower, more emotive tracks on this album are also beyond amazing. 'Dear Misery', 'Have It Your Way' and 'Over the Windbreak' hit a certain vein in me that just feels so melancholic positive and it's honestly jaw dropping beautiful at times. The dynamics this album has going on makes every HIT feel so much of an attack, and every emotional beat feel like a stab to the heart. Seriously, 'Dear Misery' feels like i'm watching an atom bomb fall in slow motion and i'm fine with it, and honestly there are very few tracks that make me feel like that.

And the production? For an independent artist, this is beyond impressive. The performances sound thunderous and in your face, and the sheer amount of CHOAS this record is filled with without feeling muggy, sloggish or buried in the mix is beyond incredible to witness. Seriously, this album had me scratching my head wondering how in gods name you can create these kinds of drum sounds and mixing with a simple DAW? How?! It's impossible!

There are small issues I have for this record, but that's mostly down to the way I listen to music now (I wish I could listen to this album more, but to sit down with a record for an hour and eleven minutes makes my brain go 'Oooo but how about watching those Game Grumps compilations for the third time today?!). Seriously, i'm beyond impressed with this album, and what it delivers.

Please. Please. PLEASE!!! Listen to this album! Buy the album on Bandcamp, according to their twitter they are making pre-orders for vinyl versions of this album soon and by GOD am I excited to buy that. Support this album in all aspects, this artist is truly something special.

And Hawk, if your reading this...OK i've reviewed it now tell me how in gods name you get your production so good. I need that Avenade Masterclass.

Favorite Jams: Dear Misery, Obsession, Trainwreck, Over the Windbreak / Bloom, September Secrets

Lest Favorite: Uh...Uh...My Dad.
Jul 7, 2020
I agree that Uh...Uh...My Dad is pretty whack, especially when he starts rapping
Jul 7, 2020
@CLJesse just an odd inclusion imo, didn't need the 'Her name was Darth Vader, played with her lightsaber' bar, very strange
Jul 8, 2020
i did it for the hoes
Jul 8, 2020
@Hawk_ Daymn shawty! Ok!
Jul 8, 2020
@Hawk_ this is the masterclass I was hoping for!
Jul 8, 2020
I never thought i was pushing the bounds of independent artists but I'll take it.
Jul 19, 2020
ughh his mind
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