Machete Avenue The First Cuts

With everybody in punk and his brother doing the "Dashboard Confessional acoustic thing,” it’s almost strange to have a band who play with people like City & Colour who aren’t a solo side project. London, ON’s Machete Avenue are first and foremost a band started by singer/songwriter/guitarist Chad Michael S. With his keyboard playing partner Scotty Avenue, they have created an EP that could get lost in the shuffle of so many other acoustic side projects. And that would be a shame because this is beautiful, heartfelt, honest music written and performed by sincere artists. The six originals and an irony-free cover of Cyndi Lauper’s sweet and stirring ’80s ballad "Time After Time” are all delivered with equal passion and grace. The fact that it’s on Underground Ops, which is quickly becoming Canada’s leading indie punk label, is a little strange, but given how "label sounds” are a thing of the past, and that MA’s sensibility is of a DIY nature, it makes some sense. (Underground Operations)