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Every Avenue - Bad Habits Album Cover

Every Avenue - Bad Habits

Reviewed by
7.5
Every AvenueBad Habits
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Record Label: Fearless
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
There are plenty of bad habits in modern pop-rock music today. Cliché lyrics, tired formulas, and excessive autotune are just a few examples that have recently plagued such pop-rock acts like All Time Low, Mayday Parade, and The Maine. Thankfully, Every Avenue avoid each pitfall on their third album, Bad Habits. The 10 tracks display a remarkable improvement from the Michigan quintet from their previous two releases, as they flex some aggressive guitar work and refined songwriting while maintaining their knack for writing catchy pop hooks.

“Tie Me Down” kicks off with soaring guitars (courtesy of Joshua Withenshaw and Jimmie Deeghan) that energetically builds into an infectious chorus, as vocalist Dave Strauchman recalls a failed relationship (“Tie me down/and fuck me up tonight/rip my heart out/hurt me good before you say goodbye/let's do this right now"). Such content serves as the general theme throughout Bad Habits, as Strauchman touches on it again during the foot-stomping “Hit Me Where It Hurts The Most.” Paced by the rhythm section of drummer Dennis Wilson and bassist Matt Black, Strauchman pleads, “Hit me where it hurts the most/Break me down to the bone/You wouldn’t be the first/It can’t get any worse/just hit me where it hurts the most.” The raucous (if a little bit cheesy) “No One But You” features Strauchman howling for some consequence-free fun, while bitterness has never sounded so pristine on the radio-ready “Fall Apart.”

But it's not all animosity on the album, as the band delves into how their relationships suffer from constant touring (“There Tonight” and “Someday, Somehow”). The power-pop balladry of “Only Place I Call Home” is one of the highlights on Bad Habits, as Strauchman absolutely belts it over a nicely layered chorus (Withenshaw and Deeghan's guitar work continues to shine here). He reaches the tipping point on the delicate “I Can't Not Love You,” as his head wages war on his heart over some Ben Folds-esqe piano chords. Despite the everything that has been spilled on Bad Habits, the band finds some clarity on closing anthem, “Watch The World.”

The yearning and melancholy throughout the record makes Bad Habits a pretty stark departure from the fun-loving cynicism of albums past. The quintet honed in on their songwriting and tightened up their musicianship (with help from pop maestro Aaron Sprinkle, whom produced the album) and it shows. Even though they're not reinventing the wheel here, the various tempos keeps the album from getting stale, and it helps that Strauchman turns in his best vocal performance here. Even if some of the lyrics are cringe worthy, you still buy into what he's singing – we can all relate to the bitterness, nostalgia, heartbreak, and hope that's littered throughout the album. Don't fall into a bad habit by missing out on one of 2011's best pop-rock records.

7.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 74
05:53 AM on 08/01/11
#2
mbao
I'm on the up and up.
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Color me interested.
06:01 AM on 08/01/11
#3
PetitnaindesÎles
We can gallop upon the sea...
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Surprised, i heard the last album sucked but i'm curious to hear this now.
06:09 AM on 08/01/11
#4
theotheryabs
There's a Melody in Everything
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Shit, that's a shock.
06:11 AM on 08/01/11
#5
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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I didn't like their first two albums at all, I like this one plenty, like the approach to the album and the mindset. musician ship really drew me in, very crisp.
06:14 AM on 08/01/11
#6
spezialk
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8's across the board is a good rating for this album. It's typical EA stuff, but I think this album has more lasting value than Picture Perfect.
06:19 AM on 08/01/11
#7
TheGuillotine
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I gave this a listen yesterday, but nothing really stood out. Might give it a few more listens now.
06:40 AM on 08/01/11
#8
AC91
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I feel like they have so much potential. Tell Me I'm A Wreck was a really great single, but they didn't have too many other songs that were all that amazing.
06:50 AM on 08/01/11
#9
Rodeo
010101101010110111001
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Aaron Sprinkle is a living legend, and I'm sure most of the credit to this record being so good belongs to him.
06:55 AM on 08/01/11
TravisSaidSo
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This is a nice album, love this guys vocals
07:21 AM on 08/01/11
Ryan Gardner
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Nice review/rating system lol.

Love this record
07:35 AM on 08/01/11
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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Great review. Sounds like an awesome album. I can't wait to pick it up on Tuesday.
07:54 AM on 08/01/11
sweepthenation
Vickadelphia
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Liked these guys since I heard the Ah! EP, will be picking this up. Good review too
08:00 AM on 08/01/11
ched zeppelin
I Can Get Back Up Now.
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Well anything Aaron Sprinkle touches is gold. So with this in mind I love every avenue so i'm really excited for this!
08:26 AM on 08/01/11
x0kristennn
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I'm really pleased with the direction that they took on this one. A few songs are very classic EA but a bunch of them surprised me -- in a good way. Didn't know they had some of these songs in them.

No One But You, Tie Me Down, and Whatever Happened to You are my favorites as of right now.

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