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Good lyrics and catchy music are the two key aspects of having a good album, and Avoid One Thing has both on their self-titled debut, Sideonedummy.
I have been humming different songs off this CD and pondering the true meanings behind most of the words since the first listen. There are three or four tritely outstanding tracks that could have at least some commercial success, especially in the wake of Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, and Unwritten Law's current entrance into the mainstream.
This album may be a little too mainstream for some of you hardcore underground kids, but it isn't a bad album. Also, if you detect a hint of that that loveable Boston band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, you have quite an ear: Avoid One Thing's lead singer/bass player is Joe Gittleman, the Bosstones bassist.
Lyrics of heartache ("half an hour of pure devotion / can really fuck with a man's sanity") and the ocean as found on the first track "Yakisoba," may encourage this album to be a little too emo-tional for some possible fans, but please don't dismiss this CD just yet. The surprisingly powerful "Sheena," a song about an alcoholic father, could even bring tears to the eyes of the biggest and heavily tattooed punk. A good amount of substance exists on this debut; I'm just a sucker for good lyrics.
There's a little bit of everything here; slow tracks, punk, the lyric "shalalalalaaa," a depressing retrospective on the last 10 years, a Sid and Nancy reference and a cute girl on guitar.
Avoid One Thing does pull from a lot of different sounds but brings it back together to sound just right. One spin and some of you may be hooked; others, sickened. So, obviously, this isn't an album for everyone, but more of the uppity emo, or even -- dare I say -- pop-punk crowds (most Bosstones fans should at least give it a listen, but may not like every track).
Personally, I like the sound that Avoid One Thing puts across, and their well-written lyrics are good compliment.
Jason Cipriano is a contributing writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.