Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore
The Avenues = Operation Ivy + Descendents + Dead Boys
The Avenues have been a band for just a shade under a decade, and now, at long last, they have released a ripping, upbeat, melodious, 11-track album that will grab any listener by the huevos and not let go for its entire running time. This punk/ska trio, consisting of Kasey Capanna on guitar and vocals, Tucker Garrett on drums (or the more abrasive term, “hitting stuff”) and Deven Capanna on bass and vocals make a gripping combination of ’90s-Epi-Fat-era melodic hardcore, upbeat two-tone ska and high-velocity tempos of hardcore’s heyday in the 1980s, making the songs rowdy but catchy at the same time.
The first two tracks, “QED” and “All for One & One for All,” are lightning-fast forces that rip through in under two minutes each, plunging into a riptide of relentlessness. Then, the energy is toned down in the very next track, and the punk rock agility is traded in for the leisurely ska rhythm of “Time For Change,” becoming the proverbial “breather” for the album. At the album’s halfway point, “Reality Sucks” takes a different turn with its mid-tempo pacing and a more melody-driven sound, with lyrics of privileged youths getting a reality check: “So you’ve had to lower your self-worth / You’ve got a minimum-wage job / Life’s no longer as easy as you thought / It’s hard for you to move on / Now you know how it feels to live like the rest of us / You’re wondering what you’re gonna do!” “32nd Song” (get it?) is exactly what the title suggests—30 seconds of the headlong veracity of battering guitars and drums, interrupted only by the chanting of “There’s no excuse!” “The Journey” splits the bill as a skankers’ paradise that goes up in flames when the tempo quadruples, turning moonstomping into slam dancing and back in a matter of seconds, while keeping the same harmonies. “Advice” closes the album with a flurry of rhythmic sequences that highlight the better portion of the guitar work and make the riffs much stronger, reminding listeners of this album’s uncompromising song structure.
Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore is a great album—not all the tracks are perfect, but the ones that stand out, really stand out—and by that notion, the album is a standout. For an album that’s wrapped up in the audacious sound of the ska/punk hybrid, it’s very easy to pick up an “I’ve heard this before” attitude from listeners. However, whatever The Avenues are doing, it’s working! They’ve managed to create a unique sound from the best of their inspirations, and it’s great to finally have some recorded material from these guys. –Eric U. Norris