DEATH OF THE AVANTE-GARDE
2008 Odd Records
Review by: Matt Crosslin
Jerry Oliver was the leader of band called Peculiar Red that made a splash in the Midwest in the mid-90’s. Jerry has been busy releasing solo CDs since then. Death of the Avant-Garde has been garnering so positive reviews since its release in 2008, and those reviews are well deserved. There are several styles here, from the dark rock of Hot Coals to several Terry Taylor-ish numbers to even a polka tune! But only one Polka tune, so Polka haters relax.
The sitars used “Hot Coals” sold me from the first listen. Readers of this magazine might not remember a band called Bang Tango, a hard rock band that had some minor hits in the early 90s but got unfairly lumped in with the hair metal bands. To me, Jerry’s voice sounds like a mixture of Joe Lesté of Bang Tango and Terry Taylor. Tim Chandler makes a guest appearance on several tracks, adding to the DA influence.
The best way I can describe the sound of this album is alternative. I would have like a little more guitar snarl here and there, but that is because I am a recovering metal head. The music is very eclectic, with an Americana influence here and there, electronica sounding drums on occasion, and many other influences. An interesting combination from an album that is claiming to be killing avant-garde, to be sure. But a recommended combination to check out for sure.