Just as the mature trending Picture Perfect was a natural progression from the saccharine-laced Shh…Just Go With It, Bad Habits, Every Avenue’s third full length effort, follows suit, serving as the perfect next step for the bands evolving sound.
Let’s face it; Every Avenue’s songwriting has never really been their strong point. For the most part, it has been frivolous, though on Bad Habits, the band spends more time waxing cynical than merely looking for some nonsensical tongue-in-cheek rhyming pattern. Still, the fact remains that the lyrical content is mostly disposable (but it still won’t stop you from learning the lyrics and singing along to every word), which is immediately evident on the albums icebreaker, “Tie Me Down.” Still, this is a solid opening track that adheres to EA’s tried and true blueprint of bouncing huge hooks off of catchy verses just begging to be sung, a theme that runs into the subsequent “Whatever Happened to You” and “There Tonight,” the best 1-2 punch of Bad Habits. The latter sounds like a b-side plucked from the cutting room floor of the Picture Perfect recording sessions. The single “No One But You” is a fun, rollicking jaunt with an animated beat and soaring melodies, but its “Someday, Somehow” that serves as Bad Habits’ most well-rounded track, one ready for radio airplay as soon as the band gets around to naming it the albums next single.
One thing that has not changed with Bad Habits is the vocal contributions of frontman Dave Strauchman, whose work on the mic remains simply tremendous, and a force that drives the albums endearing, bleeding heart-on-sleeve moments (“I Can’t Not Love You,” “Only Place I Call Home”) something EA remains underrated for (check out Shh’s “Between You & I”).
It might take some time, but Bad Habits should find a nice place in your heart next to EA’s two previous releases. It’s a quick listen that clocks in at just around 34 minutes, so be sure to spin the record a few times before you cast final judgment – Bad Habits is good enough to change your mind if need be.
Listen to: “Someday, Somehow”