Indieterria Reviews – “Rebel Forever” by Avalanche Party

Dear readers,

On 13th of September, we had the pleasure of reviewing “El Dorado”, a second single by Avalanche Party promoting their upcoming debut album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine”. And now a month (and few days) later, we are presented with another single entitled “Rebel Forever”. This is the third promotional single released since July, the first being “7” and probably the last one before the album hits the shelves on 22nd of November. As two previous singles, “Rebel Forever” also comes with a fascinating video – in true AP fashion, it is dark, cinematic and quite beautiful.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

Writing the previous review, we reached the conclusion that “El Dorado” was the best song written by the band so far. It was experimental, bold and sublime. Having  listened to “Rebel Forever” over 200 times in the last 24 hours, we have now officially changed our mind. The new track is now our all-time favourite, vastly superior to previous releases and (we have to say it) extremely radio friendly at the same time!

There is nothing wrong with the radio-friendliness, mind you. “Rebel Forever” is a catchy (again, a compliment), addictive song that will get stuck inside your head for hours and the chorus is a true masterpiece. The lyrics are linking “Rebel” to the second single when the front man, Jordan Bell sings: “Make a golden bird/ It flies over the mountain ranges/It flies over the seas and across the world/Till it reaches the El Dorado”. Should we take it as a hint that the songs on the  upcoming album might all be linked somehow? Is “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” going to be a concept album? We will have to wait to find out but judging by the musical company the band keeps and their own releases, maybe risking a statement that we have a renaissance of concept albums in the North, is not too far stretched?

Standing at 3 minutes and 36 seconds, “Rebel Forever” can easily be placed in the middle between “7” and ” El Dorado”.  Not only because of the length of all three songs (“7” is just two minute long while “El Dorado is nearly 6 minute), but also because of the videos that illustrate all three tracks. “7” is a nightmarish visualization of somebody (in that role, truly convincing lead singer of Strange Bones, Bobby Bentham), being tortured and injected with a poison, clearly as a part of some horrific Russian/KGB experiment (there is a word “shell” on the syringe written in Cyrillic if anybody has any questions or doubts). The injections causes not only foaming at the mouth but also hallucinations and intense pain to the subject. It ends with the subject destroying the interrogation room and stabbing pictures of the Avalanche Party members with knives.

The video to “El Dorado” is like a quiet break between two outbursts of anger. It reminded us of a road movie, it was quiet, almost melancholic, idyllic but with an undertone of danger in it. And “Rebel Forever” takes us back to some strange location again, another experiment cell or maybe a motel room? There is not much furniture except a mattress in the middle of the room, a bottle of absinthe on the floor and strange collection of artworks and curiosum: taxidermied bird and a pair of moths, small goat figurine in an ornate glass jar, a picture of an bleeding ear, a skull and a statue of a Greek goddess without hands. A young man is laying on the make shift bed, clearly delirious from the drink or maybe something else as well. As usual with AP video clips, it’s hard to find straight answers. We can only wonder if the man was drugged against his will and left in this remote place to die or has ingested the drink himself with the intentions of getting high. Whatever the reason, he’s experiencing a  vivid, almost kaleidoscopic swirl of images and visions. Sometimes he seems to be drowning in water, grasping for air, in another moment he is looking calmly at changing colours stretching out his arms. There are two references to “El Dorado” in “Rebel Forever”. At the beginning of the video, we see a recording of the cowboy walking through the plateau known from “El Dorado” and there is a framed picture of him shooting a gun. We have a sneaky suspicion that the unnamed cowboy and the hallucinating man somehow know each other and will meet up at some point.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

“Rebel Forever” came with a PR note attached and it is as cryptic as the video itself, but it provides us with a bit of background information about the shoot and it’s location:

“The video was filmed over the course of a few days in deep, dark Berkshire. It shows a trip through time and the great outdoors and has two main stars. Django is a scaly fiend of the reptile family Chamaeleonidae who spends his time eating rump steak and shedding his dark and succulent past. Ron is a horrible WMC toilet of a cat who would rather the world left him alone. This broadcast was made possible by Welsh wizard Kyle ‘Eagle Burger’ Howells and his unflinching vigour, boundless generosity and eye for a mood. Rebel Forever.”

It seems that the new song made a strong impression not only on us, but on other reviewers as well. We have found some fantastic opinions so please read on:

“Hard-touring underground rock outfit Avalanche Party simply refuse to stop. Capable of sustaining lung-bursting, multi-national spells on the road, the five-piece give 100% each and every night. And with With another massive UK tour on the cards, Avalanche Party have shared their bolshy, bruising new single ‘Rebel Forever'”.
https://www.clashmusic.com/news/avalanche-party-share-bold-clip-for-rebel-forever

“The band have now shared new single ‘Rebel Forever’, taken from their eagerly anticipated debut album to be release on November 22nd. ‘Rebel Forever’ is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video” –
https://circuitsweet.co.uk/2019/10/avalanche-party-share-new-video-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-dates/

“Twisty, hallucinogenic hoodoo from darkest Yorkshire, courtesy of garage punks Avalanche Party offers any indication. A dark, psychedelic yet hooky whoosh of gothic allure, woozy guitars and atmospheric electronics, it’s elegantly unhinged stuff”
https://www.loudersound.com/features/tracks-of-the-week-new-music-from-wolfmother-taylor-hawkins-and-more

“The garage punks knock out a belter of raucously melodic evocation on ‘Rebel Forever’, which may surprise some of their fans, as this feels almost ‘pop-ish’ compared to some of their earlier more heavier numbers. It’s still dark – aided by nightmarishly constructed images in its accompanying video – but both the style and production sound better than ever”
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/10/track-of-week-avalanche-party-will.html

“Avalanche Party’s delirious ‘Rebel Forever’ was made for gloomy, gray days (much like this one). Calling to mind the dark decadence that lent itself to the Berlin of Iggy and David, the song’s razorblade riffs and ever-so unhinged vocals lend an elegant, somewhat controlled violence to the band’s sound”  http://www.logicfuzzy.com/2019/10/video-of-day-avalanche-party.html

“‘Rebel Forever’” is a gothic, pulsating album highlight that’s now accompanied by a suitably nightmarish video. Playing out is a dark, paranoid hallucination taking place in a cabin in the lonely northern countryside, we’re invited to take a trip in more ways than one.
https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/yorkshires-feral-garage-punk-quintet-avalanche-party-share-new-single-rebel-forever-and-announce-us-live-dates/

Avalanche Party will be on tour shortly and you can catch them live at the  following dates:

13th November – Preston at The Ferret – http://bit.ly/3465jnQ
14th November – Liverpool at Jimmy’s Liverpool – http://bit.ly/2MInFG5
15th November – Glasgow at Broadcast – http://bit.ly/32bVaUK
16th November  – Leeds at Hyde Park Book Club – http://bit.ly/2HznRDc
20th November – London at The Shacklewell Arms – http://bit.ly/2UiAx6S
21st November  – St Albans at The Horn – http://bit.ly/2ZsHUyn
23rd November – Birmingham at Actress and Bishop (official) – http://bit.ly/2Pkqcbr
29th November  – Newport at Le Pub – http://bit.ly/2ZsH2Je
30th November  – Bath at Moles – http://bit.ly/2NFcoG1

1st December – Milton Keynes at The Craufurd Arms (Live Music Venue) –http://bit.ly/30K3vin
4th December – Sheffield at Record Junkee – http://bit.ly/2ZxfW3E
5th December – York at The Fulford Arms – http://bit.ly/2zxi10Y
6th December  – Hull at The New Adelphi Club – http://bit.ly/2La1N2Y
12th December – Southampton at The Joiners – http://bit.ly/30IbJHP
13th December  – Notthingham at The Angel Microbrewery – https://bit.ly/2kADjqH
14th December  – Middlesbrough at Westgarth Social Club – http://bit.ly/2zsgucu

 

You can preorder their debut album through Rough Trade as well. It will come in red vinyl as an exclusive:

Come  and see one of the best bands on the alternative scene now on tour.
We will be seeing them in Birmingham.

Catch you on the road,
Rita and Mal

Indieterria review – Eldorado by Avalanche Party

Dear Readers,

After squeezing an un scheduled review of Saytr Play’s new single (“Second Hand Emotion”) earlier this week, we thought that nothing new will interrupt the carefully planned flow of our blog for September. And then we realized that we haven’t covered another super important release that came out almost at the same time as Saytr Play.

The other single is “Eldorado” by Avalanche Party. The song made such a strong impression on both of us, that it would be a crime not to write about it on Indieterria.  So we pushed all other reviews and intereviews a bit to make room for this very unique song. Was it worth it? Please read on.

Avalanche Party – wanted dead or alive?

Released on August 28th, “El Dorado” is the second single after “7” that is promoting Avalanche Party’s upcoming debut album. And while “7” was 2 minute cacophony of  noise, “El Dorado” is nearly 6 minute long experimental ballad with piano and harmonica. At first listen, it seems so different from anything the band has done so far that many listeners voiced their concerns that it was risky to chose this particular track as a single. However, if you keep on listening, it quickly becomes clear that “El Dorado” is simply a logical progression of the band’s musical development. Yes, it is different than previous material, but the band’s unique sound is still there. What’s more important, the new recording is bolder, more ambitious and mature. And we like it a lot.

The songs starts with a semi intro of harmonica and few chords of a piano. It reminds us of “Arizona Bay” by Soul Savers (from their excellent 2003 album “It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land”). The tempo picks up around one minute mark, the piano becomes stronger, yet the composition remains slow and fluid until its end. It certainly has a western feel to it, maybe inspired by the band’s travels to Texas earlier this year for SXSW. There is a lot of Tom Waits and Johnny Cash influences in this tune as well. And Mark Lanegan, especially from the “Whiskey for the Holy Ghost” era. Other reviewers compared it to the original “Kingdom of Rain” which is an excellent comparison as it brings us again to the Soul Savers who worked closely with Lanegan on “It’s Not How You Fall” (and who did the rendition of “Kingdom of Rain” as well). The dramatic sforzando and dissonant harmonies offers another musical connection, this time to the works of Ólafur Arnalds. Italian music blog “Indie For Bunnies” wrote that “El Dorado” could perfectly fit a movie soundtrack: either a western, or a crime drama and it’s hard to argue with their opinion. Lead singer, Joe Bell has always been a skilled vocalist, but what he does with his voice on this track is a masterpiece. He takes the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions: from a whisper to nearly a scream, from falsetto to poetic declamation, from serenity to a hidden fury. We cannot wait what Joe and the band will come up on their debut album!

El Dorado artwork

“El Dorado” comes with one of the simplest and the most beautiful videos we have seen in a really long time. It is shot in black and white, with subtitles in yellow at the bottom of the screen. It makes you think of an old cowboy movies from 40’s and 50’s.  A lone man wearing western clothing and what seems like a Hackberry Stetson hat on his head is seen walking through an open plain. The skies are heavy and grey, there is not a single soul around him, yet he is stubbornly hiking towards an unknown destination. We know absolutely nothing about the lone hero: what is he looking for, where is he, what happened to him that set him on his journey? Those rhetorical questions are adding to the overall mystery. The simplicity of the video allows the viewer to concentrate on the music, harmonies and the lyrics. And that makes it into a truly goose bumps inducing experience. You cannot take your eyes off it, there is some sense of incoming danger but nothing drastic is happening. The man is just walking and walking, stopping from time to time to take a look around and that’s all. You are left wondering what is going to happen next. Will his story be explained? Continued with another single?

The lyrics to the song are as mysterious as the video itself. Brutal and sentimental, full of longing, poetry and tenderness. They tell a story of suffering, mental anguish, love and loss, while not giving many details away. The band has an obvious love for highly visualistic, dramatic and nearly cinematic music videos to their songs. From the rain-soaked “I’m So Wet”, to the gory “Solid Gold” and abstract “Money”. Pop culture obsessives will quickly notice many references to popular movies or film genres. “Im So Wet” is shot with a blue filter that was famously used in “The Bodyguard” and “Trois Couleurs: Bleu” to create an atmosphere of  overwhelming sadness. “Solid gold” is a nod to the revenge movies  popularized by “Old Boy” and preferred by Tanantino/Rodriguez tag team (“Kill Bill”, “Machete”), while allegoristic “Money” is clearly influenced by David Lunch (“Twin Peaks”) with a flair of 1970’s crime/road movies such as “Vanishing Point”.

 

As brilliant as this track is, we do not expect “El Dorado” to receive much of an airplay on national radio. At nearly 6 minutes, it is much longer than other songs that currently dominate the airwaves. It is also an experimental composition, merging several genres into one. It needs time to grow on listeners and demands their concentration and focus. This is not a background music material that can quietly play while you read a book or wash the dishes.

But it is good to see that at least one indie band is willing to experiment and look for new sounds. We need eagerness to explore new routes, to take risks, to create something that will shake the indie genre properly and make a mess.

If Avalanche Party want to take the stick and chase the brit-pop nostalgia out of the country, they have our permission to do this. At least we at Vanadian Avenue will be eternally grateful.

You can follow Avalanche Party on socials:
www.avalancheparty.com
https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty/
https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2srEewBNMqpGckxpkW8moh

Or subscribe to their channel on Spotify:

 

The next few months are going to be extremely busy for the Avalanche Party. They are going on headlining tour throughout November and December (playing Actress and Bishop in Birmingham on Saturday, 23rd of November) and their debut album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” will be released a day earlier on 22nd of November 2019. You can also catch them on Wednesday, the 25th September playing for PRS for Music & Yorkshire Music Forum at the LeadMill in Sheffield, (tickets at http://bit.ly/2yOxxoL), Tickhill T-Fest on 28th of September (tickets at: https://www.t-fest.co.uk/tickets), 20th of October at The Waterfront in Norwich (tickets at: https://bit.ly/2m7kpYD) and at 2Q Festival in Lincoln on 9th of November (tickets at https://bit.ly/2lOnY5V).

Avalanche Party headlining tour booked for November and December this year

Tour tickets are on sale now through the band’s website or through the local promoters:

13th November – Preston at The Ferret – http://bit.ly/3465jnQ
14th November – Liverpool at Jimmy’s Liverpool – http://bit.ly/2MInFG5
15th November – Glasgow at Broadcast – http://bit.ly/32bVaUK
16th November  – Leeds at Hyde Park Book Club – http://bit.ly/2HznRDc
20th November – London at The Shacklewell Arms – http://bit.ly/2UiAx6S
21st November  – St Albans at The Horn – http://bit.ly/2ZsHUyn
23rd November – Birmingham at Actress and Bishop (official) – http://bit.ly/2Pkqcbr
29th November  – Newport at Le Pub – http://bit.ly/2ZsH2Je
30th November  – Bath at Moles – http://bit.ly/2NFcoG1

1st December – Milton Keynes at The Craufurd Arms (Live Music Venue) –http://bit.ly/30K3vin
4th December – Sheffield at Record Junkee – http://bit.ly/2ZxfW3E
5th December – York at The Fulford Arms – http://bit.ly/2zxi10Y
6th December  – Hull at The New Adelphi Club – http://bit.ly/2La1N2Y
12th December – Southampton at The Joiners – http://bit.ly/30IbJHP
13th December  – Notthingham at The Angel Microbrewery – https://bit.ly/2kADjqH
14th December  – Middlesbrough at Westgarth Social Club – http://bit.ly/2zsgucu

Support your scene (as usual).

See you soon,
R+M

P. S. A big big thank you to the wonderful James Holt for his help. You sir, are a wonderful human being!