Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avalanche - The Golden Sun (2012)

Hear The Track Here

If I had known, at the beginning of this year when I named Avalanche as my Artist Of The Year 2010, what I know now, I'd have probably draped them in ermine and proclaimed them King Of The World, Ma into the bargain. For my money, with a band as long-lived as Avalanche, adaptability is a required skill but this year they have surpassed themselves in that respect, and in many others too. You remember that I reviewed the original The Golden Sun (December 2010) and rated that very highly indeed, despite it being a) some fourteen minutes long and b) an original recording from 1979 which has second life breathed into it by the capable hands of David Pendragon...who should so be counted as a member of Avalanche in many ways, because his presence has undoubtedly led to a new, improved Avalanche. I, for one, wouldn't have thought that possible a couple of years ago, and even then I couldn't stop going on about how ******* good they were. Wait!! Wait!!! New? Improved?

Beyond all recognition, grasshopper - this is gonna b-l-o-w you away.

As much as I appreciated the classic rock stance of the band, I must admit to a certain liking for the collaborations they made with the female vocalist Stephanie Krowka. It showed, to me anyway, a different side of the band I grown to love, not least for their dogged determination to do the right thing - whoever's feathers got ruffled. All their songs get it said bluntly, so there is no mistaking their intent with the track. That, my friends, is rock and roll in its purest form. Interestingly enough, I've watched the video of The Road Less Travelled a billion times by now and only just figured out why. It was my introduction to the new, improved Avalanche but I wasn't aware of it until Mike Foster announced that Stephanie Krowka was now an official member of the band. If you doubt the wisdom of this, you are an idiot and let the music tell you why...

Remember my description of the original? Fourteen minutes long, kinda/sorta West Coast in sound... Forgeddaboutit. Mike Foster is a demon songwriter and The Golden Sun is one of his finest creations, but what they have done to it with the addition of Stephanie's vocal (and judicial editing) just kicks it into outer space. Easily the very best thing I have ever heard from this band, and the list of Must Have's is endless. So, just in case you were wondering whether I'd been taking my meds lately, the proof - as they say - is in the pudding. What we have here is just about perfect in every single way, sound, performance, fire, emotion. All to push an enduring vision contained in the superb words that makes The Golden Sun much, much more than its parts. Stephanie's contribution is so seamlessly integrated you would swear she was in the band from the beginning, and that's icing on the cake. Music from back in the day - in this day. Whatever you may or may not think about my usual hyperbole, do yourself a favour - give this track a listen RIGHT NOW...

MUST HAVE (natch)

1 comment:

Abbie Blunt said...

Such an amazing voice. It's nice to hear more natural tones coming back to music.