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Sonic Avenues Television Youth

February 01 2012, 7:00 AM EST Brian Shultz


Sonic Avenues - Television Youth

Sonic Avenues Television Youth

Sonic Avenues - Television Youth

Released: January 31, 2012 Dirtnap

Sonic Avenues' sophomore full-length delivers more of the classic punk sound they've been rejuvenating for a few years. Hell, even its title, Television Youth, conjures thoughts of a ’70s cultural rebellion against the increasing presence of television in the family home. As dated as that might make Television Youth sound, its sighing lyrical content actually seems to focus more on the strain of relationships, countering those frustrations with feel-good buzz and fuzz.

The formula hasn't changed much since the band's 2009 self-titled debut: They pull from Buzzcocks' scuzzy, power pop-inflected punk, but turn down that band's sneer while borrowing some of the buoyant, snappy melodies captured by their former labelmates, the Exploding Hearts. Granted, expecting that level of greatness from Sonic Avenues is probably out of the question, but there's no denying their proficiency. It's audible in tracks such as the insistent, emotionally wounded aggro-jangle of "Throw It Away," which speaks of a "robot heart"; "OCD Vibes," a fussy, rhythmic tune; and the prickly guitar melody of "Back Up Back Down." Sure, the tracks bleed together some, begging for more variety in both mood and tempo, but it's a heartbroken buzzsaw that remains enjoyable for its steady half-hour.

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