Album Review: I Am The Avalanche - 'Wolverines'

24 March 2014 | 12:35 am | Staff Writer
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Raw, honest, and powerful punk rock.

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I Am The Avalanche are consistently hailed as one of the best ‘true’ punk bands to have risen up in the last decade, and really, why wouldn’t they be? Their style is uncompromising, displaying a true punk rock sense of honesty through a string of hard-hitting, ferocious tracks with expertly penned lyrics, mostly to do with a life-altering spine injury, or the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Vinnie Caruana’s hometown.

Kicking off with a heavily overdriven guitar riff, the album's opener ‘Two Runaways’ gives a strong glimpse into what we can expect from the full-length. Generally speaking, there isn’t a great deal of new ground broken here, but it’s delivered with enough genuine passion and energy that you can forgive that quite easily. Lead single ‘The Shape I’m In’ is definitely one of the stronger tracks, being driven by a catchy, melodic chorus, that you can’t help but picture going absolutely mental in a live setting.

Title track ‘Wolverines’ serves almost entirely as an interlude to the rest of the release. Clocking in at just under 90 seconds, while not being particularly characteristic of your standard ‘minute and a half long punk jam’, the song fits into the collection rather nicely, but in a very subtle way. Absorbing to the record from beginning to end, you wouldn’t be blamed for almost missing this track if you were listening to the album in the background. 

The album’s strongest moment comes in at the back end of the disc, with ‘Where Were You?’, a song that Caruana states was written to himself, as a sort of attack for not being there for the people whom he loved. His ardent delivery, particularly in combination with just an overdriven guitar and a piano in the intro carry the anger and regret that Caruana feels perfectly - even more so than the rest of the album.

In the end, this isn’t really a groundbreaking album - but then again, does punk rock really set out to break ground? When looked at in the way that it’s created to be looked at, ‘Wolverines’ is a fantastic piece of work.

  1. Two Runaways
  2. 177
  3. The Shape I'm In
  4. Young Kerouacs
  5. Wolverines
  6. Anna Lee
  7. Save Your Name
  8. Where Were You?
  9. My Lion Heart
  10. One Last Time