Album: Oceanside Boulevard (2008)
Artist: Avitia
Label: Above Ground Records
Where available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas for $5.99. Online at iTunes, Napster.com, Emusic.com, Rhapsody.com, and Amazon.com for $4.95.
Songs: 1) The Idea 2) Long Gone 3) Mars 5000 4) Fortunate Son 5) Faded Love
Band: Tony Avitia (vocals, guitar), Alex Bigelow (guitar), Brandon Turner (guitar), Warren Henderson (bass), Scruff McGruff (drums)
Website: reverbnation.com/avitia

This album suffers from schizophrenia; it doesn’t know its own personality. From one song to the next, you couldn’t tell it was the same band playing. “The Idea” drives with heavy rhythm in a power-rock fashion. On “Long Gone,” the band pretends to be a Sublime cover band that plays its own songs. “Mars 5000” is a hip-hop track complete with scratch deejaying and Avitia rapping.

Their cover of “Fortunate Son” (originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival) symbolizes the entire collection. The band plays competently, even enthusiastically. It’s a pleasure to hear. They’ve taken something that exists, changed it enough to sign their name to it, but it’s wholly unoriginal. While “Fortunate Son” is the only cover on the album, that’s pretty much how the band plays: solidly but lacking life and ingenuity.

Each song represents an academic sample of its (varied) genre, and like many things studied and perfected, it’s torpid.

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Album cover art
Oceanside Boulevard

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