Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Avalanche - The Golden Sun

Hear The Track Here

Amongst the many anniversaries being celebrated right around now is the anniversary of the formation of Avalanche. Here is a sign that a good band - like a good marriage - is forever, because this year marks the 30th year of Avalanche's existence. Yep, thirty fekkin years, so obviously not much chance of an overnight success there then. Keeping a band together and alive over the amount of time isn't just a feat of endurance - although it certainly is that too - it's also an act of selfless love, putting the band before pretty much everything else. Now though, in this digital age where music is piped into your ears direct from the internet, being a live, working band is surely well past its sell by date? Well, in some ways I guess it is, as Avalanche have been finding out for themselves. Rock will never die, but I'm afraid live rock performance - at least outside of the major leagues - may well be in its last days.

This song, according to Avalanche guitarist and songwriter Mike Foster, is older than the band being originally written in 1972 then recorded on 2 inch, 24 track tape with the original Avalanche bass player, Charles Calmese (who had earlier found fame and a couple of Platinum Records with the Steve Miller Band's Fly Like and Eagle and Book of Dreams albums) The Golden Sun really is a golden oldie. Especially seeing as Charles Calmese died in 1988 in a car accident, this is a little bit of rock history. Previously unheard, and not in very good condition - the original tapes have been damaged over the years according to Mike F, this track should in no way count as being representative of where Avalanche are right now. btw, where they are right now is a very nice position indeed, and they are rocking it for all they are worth as a quick listen to - say - Excessive will show you.

In common with the time it was written The Golden Sun is an epic rock track sprawling out over thirteen and a half minutes and, for an old hippie like me is still strangely timely. In other words, it sounds pretty much like the Avalanche I have come to know and love, albeit with a slightly sunnier outlook but hey, we all thought we had the answers then, didn't we? It is an extraordinarily clear recording considered all the caveats Mike Foster loaded onto its shoulders and I honestly doubt whether anyone but himself will ever notice those problems. For the rest of us lucky bar stewards, here is a slice of Avalanche rock that has so much depth you very well find yourself drowning in it. As good as it is instrumentally (as you would expect from Mike F, Calmese and the equally talented Easton brothers), this is also a terrific song and - had I heard it way back then - would have been a fan of this band from the get go. As far as rock goes, bands have come and gone on Soundclick and I have had me rock funnybits tickled a time or two but ever since Avalanche came along they have been my staple holder of the flame. I would agree that this track is a bit of a rock noodle but things were back then, it's more the style than a bunch of musicians showing off how good they are - and Avalanche would never have to do that live. They would be too busy having fun and making us - their audience - happy campers. At this point I have listened to this whole track right the way through at least seven times at the time of writing and I know this is going to take me forever to wear out.

A MUST HAVE slice of rock history, and even Highly Recommended Rock for those less rabid than myself.

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