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Birds of Avalon

Outer Upper Inner

(Volcom; US: 18 Mar 2008; UK: Available as import)

It is no wonder Ted Leo labeled Birds of Avalon one of his favorite new bands. The North Carolina-based band is all about the rock, and have plenty of punk attitude to boot. They might not be as politically overt as Mr. Leo, but their energy is just as over-the-top and infectious. On Outer Upper Inner, the band offers fans a new experiment. Along with producer Mitch Easter, the band recorded this EP on 4-track. But before anyone starts using the term “lo-fi”, one should play the EP. Who knows what Easter did post-recording, but these are the most pristine 4-track recordings you’ve ever heard. The style of recording maintains the bands raw edge, but there is enough production polish to keep the compositions from getting muddled. And the songs themselves are strong. From opener “Measure of the Same” to the guitar-noodling “Earthbound” to the 80s metal-channeling “The Reeds”, this short batch of songs is strong throughout. Pile this release on top of their debut, Bazaar Bazaar, and this band is putting together some strong support for Ted Leo’s claim.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


Tagged as: birds of avalon
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