Machete Avenue The First Cuts

This two-man band — consisting of singer/guitarist Chad Michael S. and the keyboard killer Scotty Avenue — pour out a sound so deep and intimate that it almost seems unfathomable that they make up the entire band. Chad’s ultra-raspy and heartfelt vocals have a soothing feeling, regardless of the fact that it seems like his vocal role models must be an interesting mix of Rod Stewart and Tom Waits with some added heartache. The standout track on The First Cuts is a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s "Time After Time,” which oddly captures the whole disposition of their sound; moody, saddened, but also hopeful. This is music that makes you feel like you’re looking directly into the heart of the unspoken words of a man who has felt both so deeply and richly about love and loss that you feel inclined to either avert your eyes or jump in full boar and experience it with him. We all know those who are too afraid to jump never really live. (Underground Operations)