Monday, 22nd January 2018. 7:34:25am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Avenue in Oceania- Avenue in Oceania


ARTIST: Avenue in Oceania
ALBUM: Avenue in Oceania
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 5-18-08

Avenue in Oceania logo

Avenue in Oceania's self-titled debut combines the political cynicism of industrial rock with the raw guitars and moody vocals of goth. At their best, they bring an emotional significance to a world stage that often feels remote; "Culture Shock" starts off with ethereal synth-strings, but bursts into a hard-rocking gothic anthem sure to get your blood pumping, and "Televangelista" brings the urgent shouting energy of early punk rock together with the slick electronics of contemporary club music. At times, though, the band's reliance on bleak baritone vocals and plodding drum machine rhythms makes for a wearying listen; the repetitious lyrical refrain of "One Vision" ruins the song's appealingly low-fi power chords, for example, and "Nina's War" comes off as merely moping where it should be poignant. Much better is "Spin," with understated vocals letting the thick bass guitar throb drive the drama, and "The Love Story," which temporarily abandons the group's interest in politics for a good old-fashioned creepy stalker song. "Modern Military Engagement" sees the band returning to favorite themes. With its guitar harmonics wailing like air raid sirens over deep pianos and rumbling breakbeats, it's the band's most successful combination of current affairs and timeless gothic attitude. Then there's "The Agnostic," an uncharacteristically energetic number that closes out a mostly morbid album. "The Agnostic" is still melancholy, but it's full of catchy vocal lines, hard-charging guitars, and a simple but effective techno beat that'll have you dancing even as you contemplate the meaningless of existence in an oppressive modern society. They're still a little uneven in places, but Avenue in Oceania's debut is a promising start. This album should especially appeal to fans of Legion Within, who also combine industrial and goth, not to mention politically-charged lyrics and brooding romance.

Check out the band at www.avenueinoceania.com.


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