ANAVAN – Cover Story
Most Likely To: cause erections against your better judgement.
I just want to make it clear right from the start that I gave ANAVAN every chance possible. Maybe this was partly influenced by the fact that one of their members bears a passing resemblance to the chick from Mythbusters (a BIG plus in the book that Dr. Helm’s penis wrote). Maybe I thought to myself, “Hmm, if this gets a good review, it would probably enhance my chances of sleeping with this woman more than if it gets a bad review.” Maybe I wanted to break myself of my almost automatic dislike for bands from California. Whatever the case, I gave ANAVAN every chance in the free world to impress me.
ANAVAN, in turn, took every chance I gave them and bedazzled it beyond recognition.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, the stuff you came to this review for.
What do ANAVAN sound like?
Cover Story, at least, sounds like a poorly conceptualized split LP between The Locust and Under the Influence of Giants.
What exactly is wrong with this shit?
Seventy-five percent of Cover Story is a confused mess.
As presented here, at least, ANAVAN is catching on now to a fad that was at its peak when Holy Fuck! was opening for Wolf Parade in Connecticut.
These are not lofty heights to aspire to in the first place.
Mindless Self Indulgence pretty much reached the pinnacle of this genre already back when they put out Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy.
This is not a compliment to Mindless Self Indulgence in any way.
‘Skin Like Heather’; a song about plastic surgery? From a California-based band? Really?
What is done right?
Certainly some things are done nicely. ‘The Perfect Sound’, ironically enough, contains some of the band’s most redeeming moments. The harsh, minimalist synths that drive most of Cover Story are actually used quite well in this case. Rather than relying on sass and abrasion to pick up the musical slack (a trick constantly employed, never successful), ANAVAN actually succeed in making something listenable by being kinder, gentler, more subtle, better controlled.
But why couldn’t you make a whole album like this? Seriously, Cover Story would have fared better if it replaced two thirds of its tracks with ‘The Perfect Sound’ repeated over and over again. Not only would it be less grating but pulling some shit like that would conceivably allow ANAVAN to cry avant-garde and fool fucking everyone.
Hopefully when ANAVAN drop their “number two” (quoted from a Cover Story lyric…very tasteful), they’ll take a harder look at what they did on tracks like ‘The Perfect Sound’ and, to a lesser extent, the opening of ‘Skin Like Heather’. Otherwise… well… enjoy opening for Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.
Listen to “The Perfect Sound” from ANAVAN: