Despite baring a title that sounds like a soccer team, I Am the Avalanche’s long-rumored sophomore album Avalanche United is finally seeing the light of day, courtesy of I Surrender Records. Six years following their debut, it’s no surprise that some of these songs have already been leaked online or played live, which lends the record a little bit more familiarity, but make no mistake, this is still a welcomed album.
Because of lead singer Vinnie Carauna’s previous band, The Movielife, it’s impossible to not compare the two bands, but on this album, IATA certainly come into their own and are definitely forging an identity independent of the members’ past groups. Avalanche United starts off with the bombastic “Holy Fuck” and then launches into crowd favorite “Brooklyn Dodgers.” Much of the record is filled with breakneck tunes like “You’ve Got Spiders” and “The Gravedigger’s Argument” — all of which have a tinge of New York/New Jersey ’90s hardcore (Lifetime, Kill Your Idols, et. al).
I Am the Avalanche’s debut album came out so long ago, in terms of the attention span of today’s fans, that this can be pegged as a debut-redux for the band, which might not be a bad thing, considering how sonically inconsistent their self-titled album was.
Unlike their previous effort, though, Avalanche United is the perfect pop-punk record; it’s slightly over 30 minutes and all the songs are fast, catchy, and poignant. Lyrically, Carauna’s narrative voice is at its peak. Following such a lengthy hiatus (no doubt related to issues with their former — and rumoredly litigious — label, Drive Thru), one can hope that I Am the Avalanche continue to have more songs as strong as the ones that appear on this album.