After several years of constant touring with The Cherry Valence, guitarists Paul Siler and Cheetie Kumar decided they'd had enough and disbanded the group (seven years of sitting in a van next to a drum kit isn't the glam life it seems to be). They settled down, got married and soon found themselves working on a new project, Birds of Avalon, a "progressive/psychedelic" quintet that also includes Craig Tilley (vocals), Scott Nurkin (drums) and David Mueller (bass). The North Carolina-based group has released a surprisingly strong debut with Bazaar Bazaar, a chugging pop-rock (with emphasis on the latter) effort in a space where ELO, Wolfmother and Sweet coalesce. Chugging and catchy glam rock tracks like "Bicentennial Baby," "Horse Called Dust" and "Superpower" carry the load, and Kumar/Siley's synchronized guitar lines are probably making Phil Lynott raise a pint somewhere. No matter that the shorter psychedelic pieces ("Instant Coma," "Wanderlust") come off as halfhearted, odd detours there's enough solid material here to make it worthwhile.
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