Create Avoid Heart Remains

On their debut album, Heart Remains, five-piece southern Californians Create Avoid deliver ten tracks of heart crunching brutality full of relentless breakdowns, two-step grooves and lyrical honesty. On the title track, drummer Steve Reese sprints with succinct snares while guitarists Chris Williams and Austin Medina keep things simple with chugs and light melodic riffs, allowing vocalist Mike Alsaybar to take the spotlight, growling about rising through tough times. "Nice Choice, Nice Life" shows off the band's technical side, with the guitars swiftly changing tempos and upscale riffs working together to create layered sounds. Although Alsaybar has a nice raspy quality to his vocals, it's drummer Reese who steals the show, as his deliberate use of constant drum rolls keeps listeners antsy to find out what's next. Top tracks include "Gotham," with a drawn out two-step section, and "The Author." (Pure Noise)