Thursday 21 January 2016

Avon - Mad Marco (Album Review)

Release date: February 24th 2016. Label: Spira Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Mad Marco – Tracklisting

Gotta Go
Mad Marco (El Torino)
Smash Em Down
I've Seen Her Face
I Wouldn't Mind
Yvonne The Avon Lady
Everyone For Themselves
Never Again
Bloodlike Rain

Band Members:

Alfredo Hernández
James Childs
Charles Pasarell


Avon has quite the Desert/Stoner Rock pedigree in their line-up. You have Alfredo Hernández (QOTSA, Kyuss), James Childs (Airbus, Lakota) and Charles Pasarell (Waxy, Lakota) forming this raw psych based power trio. Avon are about to release their debut album – Mad Marco. So what people can expect from this new combo. Well if you’re a fan of old school Desert/Stoner Rock with a hint of vintage Psychedelia then you’re going to have a huge amount of fun with this album.

These guys actually helped create some of the best and most memorable music from the Desert Rock/Stoner Rock scene over the last twenty years or so. These guys are seasoned musicians doing what they do. Cool desert riffs always sound good when done right. And that’s what Avon proves time and time again. Desert/Stoner Rock the way it’s meant to be played.

Opening track – Fallen – is a throwback to the golden era of Desert/Stoner Rock where lyrics were just as important as the riffs. It has a cool QOTSA vibe but played with a lo-fi edge. Avon makes you feel instantly at home by playing fast-paced riffs and high energy vocals to get you into Stoner Rock mood. The drumming is fantastic through out. Would you expect anything else with Alfredo Hernandez on drums. He’s the main driving force of this combo. His drumming gives these guys a hard rocking engine for Charles and James to create their riffs upon.

Second track – Gotta Go – opts for a more dirty stripped back approach though the Desert Rock sounds are still there for everyone to hear. The vocals have a slight garage rock feel but it’s still undeniably fun and shows you that Avon do offer something new. Loud, raw and psychedelic grooves with the guys creating one of the albums standout tracks.

Third track – Mad Marco – is perhaps where the guys start to create their own sound. Trippy psych vocals and haunting desert/stoner rock grooves with a slight grunge exterior. The production could of done with more volume but I have a feeling the guys wanted their music to sound vintage in some ways. It’s another stand-out track on the album perhaps my fave song on the album.

Fourth track – Smash Em Down – feels like a song QOTSA of old would have made back in the day. The vocals are superb as the band adds a classic rock feel with a sneering punk attitude. Its lo-fi and dirty but it works to the bands favour as the song feels it’s been recorded in an old abandoned warehouse of some sort. Don’t worry it still sounds fantastic.

Fifth track – I’ve Seen Her Face – is another trippy and majestic offering from Avon. Shades of classic sounding Psych Rock with a semi-acoustic guitar and Alfredo’s superb drumming show a different side to Avon. It’s perhaps Avon’s most personal song on the album as the lyrics can be quite emotional at times. The song has a soulful blues rock vibe towards the end.

Other great songs to check out are: No One But You, Yvonne The Avon Lady, Never Again and Bloodlike Rain prove Avon have created a stunning set of songs equally as good as the first half of the album. It sees the band create and explore more hazy Desert/Stoner Rock sounds with a real vintage quality. The production is handled superbly well through out. Mad Marco is a masterclass of Desert/Stoner Rock that will appeal to both old and new fans of the genres. It’s an album created for the Desert/Stoner Rock scene by some of the most highly influential people from the scene itself. What more could you possibly ask for.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to James Childs for the promo. Mad Marco will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Spira Records.