Melbourne punk/hardcore quartet The Avenue Project have only been together a year and they’ve already released their debut EP ‘Havoc’.
Having shared the stage with the likes of Belle Haven and Foxblood, The Avenue Project count their launch show as their career highlight to date, where they played main support slot for Melbourne metal titans Dream on Dreamer at BANG!
Songwriting duties involve all band members, with the two vocalists Chris Mercuri and Jordan Williams putting their lyrical prowess to the music produced by guitarists Al Drendl and Bob Corka, bassist Tim Lucas and drummer David Cowley.
‘Kaoss’ opens the EP. A restrained beginning; quite atmospheric and astral, with Mercuri providing crisp, clean vocals. This explodes into a slow-tempo groove with long chords and trem-picked lead. The intensity of this section comes from Mercuri’s astute fry-screaming. While the instrumentation remains effectively minimal, the vocals ensure this song possesses enormous intensity. The contrasts in the vocalists become apparent in the second verse, commanded by William’s angst-drenched screams which employ a staccato technique and he also might possibly rasp his throat on a daily basis. While there is definite ferocity in both vocalists style, there is not even a hint of strain in their voices.
If you’re a fan of Superheist, ‘Sediments and Crustaceans’ will get you rockin’. The Avenue Project are in hardcore mode with this song, laying reference to late 90’s Bay-Area metal. Halfway through is an absolute treat of a breakdown, where the band has their way with a djent-laden neck breaker. There is a section of deep growling, actually provided by bass player Lucas, that reminds of As Paradise Falls’ vocalist Shaun Coar. It was an interesting choice to use a clean vocal for the chorus, however it feels as though it was a very calculated decision.
The title track takes up centre-stage of the EP. A completely separate direction from the previous tracks ‘Havoc’ is good-old-fashioned punk at its rawest. Fast tempo and simple, solid riffs combine with unrelenting rage-filled vocals. It is yet another display of powerful minimalism. It’s also an appropriate title track, given the amount of havoc it causes in such a short space of time.
With the majority of the tracks coming in at just under 3 minutes, ‘Malevolence’ is the epic at over 4:17 and is filled with nuances from many of the bands many and varied influences. There is a distinct Bring Me The Horizon feel throughout the verses, with the chorus parts moving into prog-metal territory. There are hints of Machine Head, White Zombie and ‘Load’ era Metallica. While some of the passages of this song seem long relative to the rest of the EP, the song remains consistently captivating throughout.
The EP concludes with a rival of what could have been the title track. Certainly the punk-est song from the record, the appropriately titled ‘Anarchy’ begins with a subtle nod to Blink 182 ramping up nearly vertically to seemingly the fastest part of any song so far. Noteworthy performance in this song is drummer, Cowley who exhibits some incredible footwork. In true punk form, the short duration means it moves through at a blistering pace: intro, verses, choruses, a bridge that would make your grandmother bounce, all over in a couple of minutes.
Get Your Copy of Havoc HERE!