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MP3 Avenpitch - POP: New Wave

A band caught between the garage and computer lab, high-tech yet trashy, like a PC plugged into a Marshall half-stack.

10 MP3 Songs
POP: New Wave, ELECTRONIC: Pop Crossover

With garbage-picked synthesizers and equal love for New Order, Public Enemy, and Motley Crue, Minneapolis electropunks Avenpitch crank new wave up to heavy-metal intensity levels. Avenpitch''s self-titled debut LP (Omega Point) features ten tracks where bubblegum keyboard melodies and jagged guitar riffs run rampant and occasional collide. Crawling from the carnage Avenpitch''s sound is that of a band caught between the garage and computer lab, high-tech yet trashy, like a PC plugged into a Marshall half-stack.

When the opening Casio barrage of "Wreckage" drops into the bare-knuckle breakbeat and vocalist/guitarist/studio wizard Todd Millenacker screams (with his patented building''s-on-fire-hysteria) "Something''s gonna break, I know it''s gonna break in two", he may as well be referring to the stereo''s speakers. The energy level stays in the red even as the band slows down for the pop-dirge "Walrus Teeth" then lightens up on the arpeggiated, retro-dance cut "Replay". The white noise and pummeling drum loops build to the full-throttle thrash of "Satellites" ("Stand up, Get up, Smile, Sit up, Stand up, Get up, MARCH! MARCH! MARCH!"), after which the slow, wounded-bird ballad "Gravity" comes as a relief.

Though Avenpitch''s recordings receive extensive makeovers/mutilations, its live shows are pure punk - never mind the synthesizers. It''s a survival strategy the Avenpitch''s has evolved after years of being the only synth-geeks on the Twin Cities'' metal/rock circuit; "Half the time, we forget to plug most of electronic stuff in," says Millenacker, "But that''s okay, because we''re too busy kicking ass to care."

Like a pissed-off Notwist or a more user-friendly I Am Spoonbender, Avenpitch come from a new generation of underground artists who''ve ripped the conventional wisdom that punk and synths don''t mix to shreds. Onstage or on records, Avenpitch is one electro-pop band that isn''t afraid to bare it''s teeth.

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