With four songwriters, four singers, and 11 tracks of guitar-saturated rock & roll, Avers' second album, Omega/Whatever, is proof that there's strength in numbers. The record shines new light on a band that made its first splash with 2014's Empty Light. Avers supported that debut release by leaving their hometown of Richmond, VA, and crisscrossing the country on tour, opening for bands like Foo Fighters and J. Roddy Walston along the way. They made a national splash during the 2015 SXSW Festival, too, with everyone from Esquire Magazine to The Daily Beast listing them as one of the week's breakout bands.
Two years after Empty Light's release, Omega/Whatever finds them returning to their unofficial headquarters — Montrose Recording, a modern studio located on a historic Richmond plantation and operated by bandmate Adrian Olsen — and creating another self-produced album of rumbling rock, shot through with pop hooks, layers of percussion, and coed melodies from four different vocalists. It's a mix of old and new, much like the studio that birthed it. It's an album about balance, too, centered around the struggles of living in the modern world.
There are songs about divorce, technology, late nights, corrupt politicians, and societal norms, all delivered by a group of songwriters who share their creative duties equally. Olsen, Alexandra Spalding, James Mason, and JL Hodges trade off vocal duties, too, with multi-instrumentalist Charlie Glenn pitching in on keyboards, harmonies, and swells of electric guitar. There's no consistent frontman, no singular leader, no main guitarist. Those roles are fluid, which makes Omega/Whatever very much the product of a band, not just one bandmate's vanity project.
Like the album that came before it, Avers' second release came together during a series of inspired sessions at Montrose, with each song beginning as a fledgling idea brought to the table by one of the band's four writers. The entire group would then pitch in, turning that idea into something nuanced and layered. Avers would ultimately finish each song as a collective unit, recording the track the same day it was written. The result is an infectious and ebullient (The AV Club) sound that not only reintroduces the band, but not also offers an insider's look at their creative process.
Mixed by Peter Kadis (The National, Kurt Vile) and mastered with Greg Calbi, Omega/Whatever is a battle cry from a band that's fighting the good fight.