'Of Our Lives,' the debut EP from Norwich-based five piece Avosetta is one of those frustrating releases where each song has many good points, that never quite come together right.
Title track 'Of Our Lives' is held back by too many poorly-worked changes in pace and tempo. This is a shame, as 'Of Our Lives' boasts plenty of nicely bristling guitar lines, and at times settles into a stomping, heavy-rock groove that's good, straightforward fun. But then Avosetta completely change tract and snap into a snappy, emo-punk section. It's a bright and breezy breath of youthful energy, that sits uneasily next to the track's heavier moments and, even worse, they flick from one extreme to the other with a mind-boggling abruptness that'll leave you scratching your head.
'Snakecharm The Dead Whale' seems to be suffering from a similar identity crisis, kicking off with a bellow of guitars and frothing-at-the-mouth vocals, before brightening into a melodic, punkish rattle and a chorus of pop-infused goodness. However, 'Snakecharm The Dead Whale' is underpinned by some nicely crunching riffs and the chorus, taken on its own, is a fizzy shot of smile-inducing euphoria. It's just that, once again, this song doesn't make sense as a whole.
Things pick up in the second half, with 'Syncopated Heartbeat' and 'Warship Lanterns.' The former is a snappy, energetic blast of poppy punk, with touches of crunchy guitars giving it that essential extra weight, and preventing it from feeling like just another disposable bit of pop-punk froth. 'Syncopated Heartbeat' may not exactly be reinventing the wheel, but it's enjoyable, accessible punk(ish)-rock.
EP-closer 'Warship Lanterns' begins like a song of two halves. One half is a glimmery, melodic meander spiked with dewy falsetto vocals; the second half is a swaggery, more rock-orientated section, and the movement between these two sections makes sense. However, 'Warship Lanterns' loses its way towards the end, with some frenetic chord-mangling that at times has an almost electronic edge to it, and busy, random-sounding drumbeats.
This debut EP showcases four songs that between them, boast many fine moments. However, there's a lack of coherency when you examine each song as a whole, and Avosetta have yet to perfect the movement between each segment of their complex, multi-faceted songs. Consequently, you may just come away with no clear idea of how each song 'goes.'