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Front Porch Stories

Avail

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Album Review

By definition, punk packs a punch, but Avail carries more luggage than most, including its own band cheerleader, Beau Beau, and thus this group knocks out some of the biggest sounds around, walloping fans on record after record. This is Avail's sixth full-length but first for Fat Wreck Chords, and finds the band in the same pastures, just a bit more musically thoughtful. As listeners have come to expect, Avail slams through musical boundaries, making a nonsense of subgenres; what sounds good, what works, and what makes the biggest noise is the group's only concern, be it '70s rock, grunge, hardcore, thrash metal, punk-pop, old-school, new-school, forget school, Avail's burnt the building down, sucked up the ashes, and regurgitated them into a sound all its own. This is true crossover, a style that can reunite the myriad of today's tribes under their own banner. As for those dozen Front Porch Stories within, they're less stories than emotions rubbed raw, what comes after you've said everything there is to say, and now totally drained, the undiluted truth finally seeps out. The lyrics are smart, with much perception and insight. Phrases like "your lifestyle is like climbing to reach a basement," "raw with indecision," and "rather stand alone than divided" resonate with their verbal dexterity and unique take on well-traveled paths. Which is precisely Avail's intent. The best yet, with hopefully much more to come.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Reston, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A gritty punk quintet from Richmond, VA, Avail comprises vocalist Tim Barry, guitarist Joe Banks, bassist Gwomper, drummer Erik Larson, and "cheerleader" Beau Beau. Their distinct sound is based in the sincerity and aggression of punk, the power of classic rock, and an admiration of the nearby Washington, D.C., hardcore scene of the late '80s. The group originally released their debut, Satiate, on their own Catheter Assembly Records in 1992, but the album was re-released two years later by Lookout!...
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Front Porch Stories, Avail
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