By: Linda Spielman
When really great bands
break up, the reincarnation of the newly formed subgroups with former
members can either be a really big hit or a really big miss. Such
is the case of The Tories. After their dissolution, frontman Steve
Bertrand bounced back onto the scene with the new group Avion.
When it comes down to it, Avion is a definite hit to former Tories
fans, industry professionals and the general listening public alike.
The word avion
is the French translation for airplane. Just as an airplane physically
takes a person far above the clouds to a place in their minds somewhat
unreachable and beyond their imagination, so does the quality of
the music that the band Avion has released with their debut CD.
The melody-laden thirteen tracks on the CD literally catapult listeners
into their own imaginations and interpretations of the lyrics and
songs as a whole.
You can't deny the haunting
familiarities to The Tories in such songs as Seven Days Without
You or It Falls Back On Me. However, along with Betrand,
Josh Dunahoo, Joey Clement, Ben Hazlett and Jamie Wollam have taken
a familiar sound, built upon it and completely rejuvenated it for
a whole new group of listeners. As Bertrand enthuses about the new
group, "Some people say Avion sounds like the next generation of
The Tories, and right now, with this band I am more fulfilled musically
than ever. It's like starting over."
Bringing in virtually
unknown artists to compose the new group, all with amazing talent,
is a contributing element to the fresh sound of Avion. And, Bertrand's
undeniable talent for creating visual, melodic hooks has made this
CD a completely enjoyable listen.
With Seven Days Without
You, a staple in rotation in most major radio markets, Avion's
CD is packed full of stellar musical moments. You can't pin point
one single aspect of the CD that conveys it's true identity. There
are heartfelt as well as uplifting lyrics, a solid sound, complex
musical arrangements and layering, and smooth production that pulls
all the elements of this CD into a great debut for Avion.
With Seven Days Without
You making a name for Avion, the next most notable track from
it's first listen and to date the most quotable for reviewers is
Beautiful. The song truly speaks for itself lyrically: Telluride
and an afternoon hike / Big Bear at Firelight / Thanksgiving and
a movie night / When we can't sleep. . . fireworks over Disneyland.
Just that small sampling of lyrics immediately draws the listener
into their own imagination of the song. Other notable mentions are
Starting Over, It Falls Back On Me and The Best Is Yet
To Come which tackle such introspective topics as relationship
commitment, rediscovering the joys of life and the acknowledgement
of a higher entity in personal survival and contentment.
Although Avion originally
released this CD as an indie project, the success of it's first
single made major labels take notice. Now with Columbia Records
backing the CD, it can now reach even more people than its first
go-round. With music and passion exceeding it's monetary cost, Avion's
debut is a CD well worth the purchase.