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21st Century New Wave: Aalacho, Avenpitch

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AALACHO: Electro (CD on Aalacho Music)

This release from 2004 features 35 minutes of modern new wave.

Aalacho is Nathan Scott with Chris "Reemus" Brown, Joe Randazzo, Trevor Hesse, Derek Armstrong, and Sam McIlvain.

Slick electronics and nimble e-perc provide a durable core for this music. The synthis emulate Eighties new wave with a touch of modern intent. A host of auxiliary effects flurry around the edges of goodtime keyboards. The synthetic percussion alternates from gritty gripping beats to cheesy-sounding tempos that manage to rise above their trivial demeanor.

Guitars inject a sense of "oomph" to this frolicsome pop, with fuzzy peripherals and driving riffs that pierce the melody with their feverish outcries. This rockish presence fleshes out the pop sound with a powerful flavor that is highly engaging.

Vocals embroider this tuneage with positive sentiments, dissecting daily doldrums and revealing hope and opportunity. Different vocalists are utilized to give each track its own personality.

Overall, this music is peppy and uplifting. The tunes cavort with a jubilant manner that conveys an inspired dose of joy along with the strength to carry on under disparaging circumstances. Even the harsher tracks do not deviate from this optimism

Included is a twisted version of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride."

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AVENPITCH: Avenpitch (CD on Omega Point Records)

This release from 2003 features 38 minutes of hard-edged new wave.

Avenpitch is the brainchild of Todd Millenacker.

Minneapolis-based Avenpitch mixes synth-pop with garage punk to achieve a unique sonic experience. The band takes the contrast that exists between these two genres and forces tasty tuneage out of the unconventional union.

Garbage-picked synthesizers whoop and glisten amid a snakepit of growling guitars and compelling percussives. The result is an in-your-face explosion of angst tempered by futurist sensibilities. The guitar wails and moans, deriving vast expression from distorted chords and delivering a teeth-grinding locution to the swaying musical morass. The drums produce a blur of beats that propels the audience with hectic velocity. The electronics serve to glue all this together, bonding unlikely riffs and tempos into a sleek mutation of new wave songs.

Vocals provide sociological embellishment to these gritty songs, communicating rage and dissatisfaction that runs the gamut from culture to interpersonal relationships. There's a megaphone aspect to the vocals that attributes an insistent drive to the lyrics.

This music is not unlike a collision between Public Enemy and New Order.

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