In 2012 I was stuck with Television Youth on constant repeat; every where I went I was humming along to the melodies and playing air drums. Suffice it to say, the arrival of Mistakes. the band’s latest effort for Dirtnap Records, comes with a lot of anticipation on my end. Sonic Avenues deliver, as I expected, offering up 11 songs of power-pop that are executed perfectly.
“Waiting for Change” begins with a screech of feedback, followed by some understated strumming, but then it jumps into delivery of ringing guitars and hook-laden melodies. If you were looking for a great answer to the sorely missed Exploding Hearts, then songs like this are precisely why I consider Sonic Avenues to be one of the best acts to have picked up that torch. But, while they do nod their, they’re also making things a bit noisier, exemplified in the track “Automatic.” It’s a faster paced banger, and the vocals, while still maximizing pop sensibility, are sung in a more hap-hazard fashion. The next few tracks live in the same realm, with a darker guitar found on “New Vogues,” but I also wanted to see where the band mixed things up a bit.
On Mistakes, “Better Days to Come” brings some respite from the energy-fueled pop that’s been coming through your speakers. Personally, I’ve found that the guitars, building through two different sounds creates a nice effect, allowing for the group to bring you a nice little power-ballad, though not in the cheesy since. It allows your toes to take a rest before you tap them off. You’ll find a similar book-end to the record when you arrive at “Lost & Found.” It’s not quite the same ballad, but the relaxed approach is very much a part of these two tracks.
For my money, I’d find yourself stuck in tracks 6-8. My two favorite songs, “In Your Head” and “Too Late” are located here. The first is really just an excellent jam; I love how the song breaks down just after the two-minute mark, then builds itself back into infectious churning guitar noise. “Too Late” on the other hand pushes you into rock mode right from the get-go. The drums are pounding furiously, and you’ll find yourself swept up in the song instantly. Check out the rad guitar moves knifing through at the 1 minute mark.
If you want a record that makes you feel good about loving rock n’ roll, then you really need to head out and pick up a copy of Mistakes this week. Sure, there’s a lot of bands out there doing similar things musically, but for me, the Sonic Avenues are one of the best. From the way the songs are mixed to the unending energy contained in each track, you just can’t get much better than this.