NME.COM

Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

Their genius lies in an ability to match light and shade with the impact and velocity so necessary to punk rock.

Nobody needs to be reminded how essential 'Relationship Of Command' is. However, At The Drive-In aren't the one-off experience they might appear to be. Indeed, not so long ago they'd regularly be compared to another band who'd already built up a fearsome reputation in the punk underground. That band was Virginia's Avail, currently touring their fifth album, the mighty

'One Wrench'.

<
br />


Their genius lies in an ability to match light and shade with the impact and velocity so necessary to punk rock. Like Fugazi, they've fashioned a form of hardcore that grows on you rather than revealing everything in the first crushing powerchord. Crucially, though, their songs are also devilishly catchy. Burly frontman Tim Barry can't help jumping about and clapping his hands, lost in the eye of the perfect storm his bandmates are cooking up.





For those who need an Afro-style visual focus to grab their attention, Avail also employ a 'cheerleader' called Beau Beau. A wiry little guy with the most obscene growth of face fuzz this side of ZZ Top, Beau's hobbies include high kicks, scaling speaker stacks and playing air guitar on mic stands, often all at the same time. The Flava Flav to Tim's Chuck D, Beau is also fond of jumping offstage to applaud Avail with the rest of the audience. His enthusiasm is entirely justified. Time to add another name to that list of crucial American rock bands.



Olly Thomas

Share This

More Reviews

Boxed In – 'Melt' Review

With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment

Album

Warpaint - 'Heads Up' Review

California’s coolest lift their usual murk on a free-spirited, adventurous third album at odds with its ‘mature’ description

Album
Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine