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Avatar

August 8, 2006

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Label: Sub Pop Records
  • Copyright: 2006 Sub Pop Records
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 45:46
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000YMWXHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,127 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dano on August 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This group has assimilated all the influences of great rock music from 1967 to 1972 and come up with a modern vision.Everyone from Frank Zappa to Quicksilver Messenger Service to Morgen to Guess Who to Procol Harum to Yes(plus hundreds of others) are touched upon by this eclectic recording then stretched to an almost Jazzlike sound.I call it pure genius and if any of the above mentioned bands are your idea of great music then I highly recommend this and all their other recordings.Too bad there's no other bands mining this territory, but I'm sure glad these guys are!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Birkenstock on August 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If you play this CD in reverse it says "Jesus is Satan."

Comets on Fire are dense. Blue Cathedral was a punishing wall of noise. Listening to it I felt like one of those explorers in the black and white Tarzan movies equipped with a machete inching through the foliage. However, once you carved out your own path the album rewarded you tenfold. Comets are unapologetically classic rock, but instead of just breaking out the old Hendrix and painting by numbers they added some proto-punk and an echoplex.

Some thought Blue Cathedral was more attitude than it was songwriting, and to them Avatar is the perfect rebuttal. Here the Faces riffs and Robert Plant vocals are slowed down to further reveal the songs to the point where someone who hated Blue Cathedral might actually like Avatar. Don't worry, there's still use of the echoplex, and the songs are drawn from six to eight minutes in length (with one exception), but Comets have traded in some of their feral energy for a more dynamic sound.

Benefiting the most from the new dynamics is the bad acid sounding "Lucifer's Memory," a song that sounds like a flower wilting. There's a certain cadence that plugs along with the chugging vocals pushing the song towards its seven minute mark. It has quickly become my favorite new song of this year.

While there are still some rockers, such as the opener "Dogwood Rust" which sounds as if its beginning should be found somewhere before you pressed play, just as the closer sounds as if it ends before the song has stopped, even these rockers sound less brutal than their predecessors. Only "Holy Teeth" has the same long-haired head banging attitude as Blue Cathedral, and it only lasts three minutes (only a minute in Comets on Fire time).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Kaufman on September 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Upon inception in 1999, Santa Cruz's Comets on Fire were wise in their choice of band name because their sound does hit first-time listeners with the force of an errant and blazing meteor falling from out of nowhere. Back with their fourth official album as well as their second with the addition of guitarist Ben Chasny, the brainchild of psych/drone rockers Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire have chosen a road less traveled in their career yet haven't lost their wavering psychedelic touch. Whereas their previous release, 2004's Blue Cathedral, was awash with raw noise and feedback and a thick dose of proto punk cut from the cloth of the Stooges and MC5, Avatar is more toned-down in terms of noise, with more of an emphasis on the always swooping guitar of front man Ethan Miller (not to mention his ashtray like voice) along with woozy psych jams sounding like they came from an old live Fillmore recording of Country Joe and the Fish or Jefferson Airplane.

Even as the chill mode is the path taken on "Jaybird," drummer Utrillo Kushner keeps apace with an intensely rapid flow of a be-bop scat-shot percussion groove that also remains tepid. With plenty of half-buried and squelching organ lines and a rustic overtone, it would be a topic of great debate to say that Comets on Fire veer off into an improv mode, but their free jazz approach is undeniable. The organ and keyboard elements are more audible here than they have ever been with Comets on Fire, especially with the druggy lounge blues of "Lucifer's Memory."

Being the mélange of intoxicating mind sets that it is, Avatar is like a sponge of sorts that is absorbed in a mixture of PBR pounders, potent cannabis, and Orange Sunshine LSD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Santa Cruz (Northern California) band's fourth full-length carries their overdriven faintly blues-based, amped-up psychedelic hard rock meets a lean postpunk aggressive delivery into calmer territory. Fans of Dead Meadow should seek this out, and vice versa. I like the sequencing--those familiar with the predecessor CD Blue Cathedral will recognize the overdriven echoplexed propulsive distortion that for me recalls Kyuss as much as Blue Cheer. This quality propels the beginning and end of the album, whereas the middle, with one exception, meanders along valleys rather than scaling peaks.

Definitely a Bay Area-influenced band, their geographical location fits the band's 1969-71 influences. They never precisely recall-- but they continue the often-maligned and only recently re-examined and respected, striving, spirit--of the bands of this era that took the acid rock and moved it away from hippie vibes into more obsessively introverted aural and intellectual byways. That they create this music while living out in the countryside is no accident. It feels rooted, Americana for those who don't wear Stetsons but may wear boots! This is smart music, done in an organic way so that songs unfold and emerge slowly, and the pacing is not for the impatient. My four-star rating is earned since the band tends towards a bluesier foundation here than I prefer, but for others this may well be a strength this album around. Listening, I became at first disappointed in the more strictly paced song rhythms, and longed for more skronk. This album holds back rather than rushes towards release. It's rather a tease. But, the album forced me into its own march (like a Kubrick film), and I had to follow and slow down.

This may be a good place to start for those new to CoF.
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