Avarice and Absolution

Evo Recordings
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Look At What You've Done
02. Sugar Star
03. In the Way She
04. 3 Weeks
05. Popstar Wedding
06. Bleed Alone
07. Walk the World
08. August
09. Penelope
10. Gotta Get 2 U
11. The Truth
12. Secondhand Redemption
13. Which Way To Sunday

Read no further unless you're a fan of radio rock. Virginia's REVERY may have a name that looks like something a gum-cracking stripper would name her illegitimate daughter, but they've stepped onto the national stage with a debut that's frighteningly good at what it does.

What it does is ear-friendly truck rock that follows closely (a bit too closely, perhaps) in the footsteps of NICKELBACK, GODSMACK and SHINEDOWN. And while there's about 94,000 other bands looking for that same path to glory, REVERY happen to be utterly ass-kickingly good at writing hooks. The first three songs here would all be career-making singles for anyone else, and they're not even the lead single! These guys may have the most seemingly effortless knack for deceptively simple, stupidly catchy rock songs since the heyday of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. With just a hint of Southern swagger and an obvious affinity for big, anthemic chords, this is heavy rock for the people, done right.

They definitely stacked the deck on "Avarice and Absolution", because after "Popstar Wedding", things get a bit more faceless and generic. By the end, I was wondering if the guilty-pleasure kick I got from the beginning of the album was some sort of sugar-rush-related fluke, but subsequent listens bore it out, and even managed to let "Popstar Wedding", "The Truth", and "Penelope", which at first seemed bland, worm their way into the subconscious.

Bottom line — if you're a fan of VELVET REVOLVER, BRAND NEW SIN, or any of the bands mentioned above, you need to check out REVERY. Like I said, you're not gonna like it unless you like this kind of thing. But there can be no denying that these guys have what it takes and know what they're doing — it's rare that a band comes completely out of nowhere like this, and is so accomplished right off the bat. But REVERY has the skills, a huge, slick production, and most importantly, the songwriting knack to knock this debut album out of the park. This style usually isn't my bag, but color me impressed.

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