THE DEAL: Charlotte rock quartet releases debut eight-song album.
THE GOOD: Grown Up Avenger Stuff's debut features eight songs that center around a melodic yet aggressive approach to rock that combines elements from metal rhythms as much as pop sensibility. The album kicks off with the title track — a distortion-infused song that features the vocals of singer Deirdre Kroener in all its forms: sweet, raw and straightforward. She's not afraid to unleash a "barbaric yawp" when the song, or her emotions, calls for it. Guitarist John Thomsen knows when to hold back and when to deliver riffs upon the listeners ears — "Try Me On" has a good balance of both during the chorus. The drums by Tyler Black are steady, but also get the right hints of funk when necessary, including the snare-driven "Static."
THE BAD: The band does its best work on stage and should be seen live, though local studio engineers Rob Tavaglione and mastering agent Dave Harris brought out the best of the band. At moments the band's lyrics can be simplistic, but at the same time, does everything have to be so introspective and thought-provoking all the time?
THE VERDICT: A solid introduction to a band that delivers the Charlotte rock scene a good, well-deserved raw energy boost. The female vocals help to grab a glance, but there's enough here to keep you paying attention.