Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ava Luna - 3rd Avenue Island (Cooling Pie, 2009)

Ava Luna - Six Seven (I Want To Hide Away)

I listen to as much crazy shit as possible. Most of the time it borders on the music/not-music line. I would say I'm used to weirdness found in music. But I most certainly never, ever thought I would hear anything like Ava Luna. This bunch is totally unlike anything I've ever heard before.

3 guys and 3 gals, some drums, and a synth. That's it. What comes out of 3rd Avenue Island is rhythm heavy synth gospel punk. Recorded in a church, no less.

The synth reminds me a lot of the flash-in-a-pan DFA79, although nothing on 3rd Ave ever gets quite as spastic and amped up as them. The drums are pretty straightforward, nothing too adventurous. They're either there to keep time, add the occasional flair, or go completely fuckin nutty when shit gets crazy. What makes Ava Luna so different, though, are the vocals. There's a male lead and 3 female backups. All of their voices are so smooth and soulful, and their harmonies are something straight out of a '50s doo-wop group. Maybe imagine if Todd Lewis of Toadies had some old fashioned glee club girls join him in his church of synth punk to sing hymns. That's Ava Luna.

The moment you put on 3rd Avenue Island, it's instantly recognizable as some truly unique shit. And I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a "love it or hate it" record. For me, it's obvious. I can't get enough of this. I hesitated for a split second on that first track but I made up my mind pretty quickly. Ava Luna is fuckin boss. And I can only imagine what sort of insanity goes on at their live shows.

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