Review: The Rocket Summer – Bryce Avary, His Instruments And Your Voices | Christian Music Zine


Released Independently

May 24 2011

Reviewed By Tyler Hess

Bryce Avary has always been a little different than typical.  Not only did he jump onto the “I’m only one person, but I really like the idea of having a band name instead of promoting my own name so I’ll just give myself a band name” bandwagon very early in life, but he has found other ways of distinguishing himself from following the trends.  He came out with a B-sides EP following his last album with zero marketing, just trusting that his fans would show up to purchase his work.  Now he has decided to take things even farther along the trail of independence.  Out of nowhere it was announced on his website that he was giving away a live, acoustic album, titled “Bryce Avary, His Instruments And Your Voices”, for the affordable price of free (as long as you’re willing to give up your e-mail address).  Click, click, click, listen.  Done.

The concept of the show isn’t all that hard to figure out, as Bryce Avary simply plays a one man show of his The Rocket Summer hit songs, with a fairly heavy emphasis on his latest full length studio release, “Of Men And Angels“.  Generally led with Avary playing either an acoustic guitar or a keyboard, the album comes as advertised, with the crowd participation being loud and in unison from the beginning, enthusiastically hanging on every word Avary has to say.

The biggest drawback, and really the only flaw on an album for anyone who enjoys music by The Rocket Summer, is the lack of production quality associated with the album.  In a case of “you get what you pay for”, well, you can’t expect the slick production of a major release for a free album.  Instead, you get what is a great marketing program for the live show, but clearly an indie release as far as the quality of the recording is concerned.  It’s good, just not top notch.

Musically, you should know what you’re going to get with Bryce Avary playing pop rock songs with his distinguishably shaky voice that miraculously works.  You’re going to hear quirky songs along with some songs that display Avary’s deep faith, including my personal favorite, “Walls” and the song that the crowd demanded, “Never Knew”, which has a special moment in the middle where Avary promises the crowd that he’s “a professional” when he gets messed up by the crowd’s poorly timed clapping.

This is an idea that few artists and bands have embraced in an era when albums are barely anything more than an opportunity for music to get in the hands of potential show-goers anyway.  Even though I prefer my live albums to be in DVD form so that I can watch what is going on too, the price is unbeatable and something you should jump on immediately if you ever wanted to check out The Rocket Summer.

Score: 4

Tracklisting

  1. Roses
  2. Around The Clock
  3. Brat Pack
  4. Of Men And Angels
  5. Do You Feel
  6. Break It Out
  7. Hills And Valleys
  8. Walls
  9. Solo Jam
  10. N.K. Chant
  11. Never Know
  12. So, In This Hour…
  13. Thank You
  14. Save
  15. So Much Love
  16. Cross My Heart
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