(Omega Point Records 2003)Avenpitch - Avenpitch

At points during listening to Avenpitch's self titled album, it sounds as though they could have just taken the soundtrack for some old Nintendo games and added some guitar and vocals. And it is that combination of electronic music and the vocals, delivered with enough attitude to bring punk to mind, that make Avenpitch grab your attention and keep it for the entirety of the album's ten tracks.

With catchy, upbeat plinking, Avenpitch open with "Wreckage," Todd Millenacker's flat vocals singing "Someone's gonna hurt, I know they're gonna hurt/And better off me than you." Slightly slower and darker sounding, "Walrus Teeth" voices Millenacker's disgust ("You're so happy, it makes me sick/You're so happy I can hardly deal with that/Crocodile smile, those walrus teeth/I don't understand what you want from me"). With pizzicato thumping beats and rap-like vocal delivery, "Hacienda" gets your attention with its rhythm while "Sisyphus," with its sing-song electronic hook, offers a noticeable distorted guitar riff and grittier pulses that seem to try to mesh industrial with electronic for a cool outcome. "Replay" gives a different instrumental sound with the keyboards filling more of the background than just a few pulses with a shredded, distorted guitar solo.

More aggressive in a punk sense while retaining a relatively softer instrumentation, "Housecat" stands out with its catchy vocal delivery of "Maybe it's the drugs or maybe it's love/Or maybe it's something that I never really wanted anyway/But that's okay, she's my housecat." "Ruins" offers more of that industrial side of Avenpitch with squealing, although somewhat subdued, guitars that is heavier than "Sisyphus" while the sound of strings on "Escape Reality" offers a warm sound that is a unique on the album. With a speeding clapping rhythm, "Satellites" is not only punk, but also just the right structure and style for Millenacker's vocal delivery. "Gravity," with its fuller instrumental sound, lets Millenacker actually sing. And while the track still holds its own on the album, it is not the strongest point to end on.

While Avenpitch do, occasionally, have that sugary electronic sound, the drums, guitar and vocals they add let the songs have both a light and a dark side for a balanced sound. A nice mix of electronic and punk without trying too hard to proof either style, the Avenpitch's self-titled album is different, interesting and enjoyable. Avenpitch do not really even have to grab your attention; you readily offer it as you dance along.