By definition, punk packs a punch, but Avail carries more luggage than most, including its own band cheerleader, Beau Beau, and thus this group knocks out some of the biggest sounds around, walloping fans on record after record. This is Avail's sixth full-length but first for Fat Wreck Chords, and finds the band in the same pastures, just a bit more musically thoughtful. As listeners have come to expect, Avail slams through musical boundaries, making a nonsense of subgenres; what sounds good, what works, and what makes the biggest noise is the group's only concern, be it '70s rock, grunge, hardcore, thrash metal, punk-pop, old-school, new-school, forget school, Avail's burnt the building down, sucked up the ashes, and regurgitated them into a sound all its own. This is true crossover, a style that can reunite the myriad of today's tribes under their own banner. As for those dozen Front Porch Stories within, they're less stories than emotions rubbed raw, what comes after you've said everything there is to say, and now totally drained, the undiluted truth finally seeps out. The lyrics are smart, with much perception and insight. Phrases like "your lifestyle is like climbing to reach a basement," "raw with indecision," and "rather stand alone than divided" resonate with their verbal dexterity and unique take on well-traveled paths. Which is precisely Avail's intent. The best yet, with hopefully much more to come.
AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene