Chicago Sun-Times
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Demo2DeRo: The Avatars

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It seems as if the power-pop torch will never be extinguished in these parts, and that's a good thing, at least when bands like the Avatars can make that familiar Big Star/Cheap Trick/Material Issue/Matthew Sweet formula of huge guitars, massive choruses and thundering drums sound as fresh and vital as it does on songs like "Oh Denise" and "Clockwork," a cautionary (or is that celebratory?) tale of "another Midwest love affair," just two of the gems that can be sampled playing on the band's MySpace page (

Initially formed as the Omega Battalion, the Avatars--guitarists-vocalists Ian Zander and Mark Gustafson, bassist-vocalist Scott Ford and drummer Dustin Copeland--have been working hard on the edges of the Chicago scene for at least three years, driving in from their home base in Rockford. Rockford, Zander--yes, there's a Cheap Trick connection (Ian is Robin's eldest son), but the quartet gets no points for that nepotistic connection in this corner: They've earned the accolades for themselves with their recently released self-titled debut album, and they more than deserve their slot opening for Cheap Trick at the Vic Theatre on Dec. 10, WXRT (93.1-FM)'s Holiday Concert for the Kids.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.


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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on November 13, 2008 2:59 PM.

The curse of alternative nostalgia: What the heck happened to the Class of '93? was the previous entry in this blog.

Rise Against: Melodic hardcore? Political pop-punk? Mainstream underground? Great whatever you call it is the next entry in this blog.

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