It’s rare to see a band hold out for much longer than a year after their formation to release a full-length album. In this age of Spotify and Soundcloud, kicking out steady releases can be essential to retaining listeners’ interest and attention. Advaeta could apparently not care less about all that.
The Brooklyn-based trio have been around in some form or another for over six years (they used to go by Advaita—a Sanskrit word meaning nonduality or oneness—but made a slight alteration when they realized the name was already taken by a popular Indian fusion band). Though they did self-release one single and one EP over the course of those years, Advaeta largely spent that time playing shows, honing their craft, and crystallizing their ideas and intent as a band. They are now emerging as a clearly-defined and confident project, finally releasing their debut LP, Death and The Internet, via Fire Talk Records.
Right off the bat, “Angelfish” eases us into the band’s hypnotic yet clamorous sound—a product of having two-thirds of the group on guitars. Sara Fantry and Amanda Salane immediately give us a nice dose of Slowdive-esque shoegaze paired with all the griminess of traditional rock ’n roll a la the Stooges. Meanwhile, drummer Lani Combier-Kapel’s furious energy drives the song forward at breakneck speed (and she somehow manages to keep this up for five full minutes). It’s a great choice for an opening track and just one of the many signs that this record was carefully and thoughtfully crafted. The native New Yorkers clearly know what they’re doing (for Fantry and Combier-Kapel, their six years of work as a band were preceded by matriculation at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts) and it shows through all nine tracks included here.
Exploring the album, you get more and more indication of the group's psychedelic influences, particularly on “Gold Thought Exit.” Advaeta’s music occupies a space that is saturated with noise and reverb, but you still get a nice sense of the expanse around the sound—it’s lush and it’s full but it’s never overcrowded. The three women share writing duties and also seem to take turns with lead vocals, though many times their voices blend fluidly with the din of the guitars. We get better access to their vocal chops on songs like “Your New Life In Pictures,” in which we're given a powerful sense of betrayal with lyrics about break-ups in the time of social media. Overall, lyrically, we get matter-of-fact confessions laced with in-your-face vulgarity (from “Church Cult”: “You say you want love / Does it give you love? / Does it suck your cock?”).
Death and The Internet seems to wade its way through the mud and muck of emotion—resentment, contempt, and anxiety, to name a few—and finally reaches a place of acceptance with closing track “RIP.” It’s an intense song with all-out snarling guitars, but it breaks near the end and leaves us with a few watery notes. The band “rides the wave beyond” and we're left with a feeling of utter catharsis. All we can do now is hope for a follow-up sometime before 2020.