Demo2DeRo: The Avatars

November 16, 2008


It seems as if the power-pop torch will never be extinguished in these parts, and that's a good thing, at least when bands like the Avatars can make that familiar Big Star/Cheap Trick/Material Issue/Matthew Sweet formula of huge guitars, massive choruses and thundering drums sound as fresh and vital as it does on songs like "Oh Denise" and "Clockwork," a cautionary (or is that celebratory?) tale of "another Midwest love affair," just two of the gems that can be sampled playing on the band's MySpace page (

Initially formed as the Omega Battalion, the Avatars -- guitarists-vocalists Ian Zander and Mark Gustafson, bassist-vocalist Scott Ford and drummer Dustin Copeland -- have been working hard on the edges of the Chicago scene for at least three years, driving in from their home base in Rockford. Rockford, Zander -- yes, there's a Cheap Trick connection (Ian is Robin's eldest son), but the quartet gets no points for that nepotistic connection in this corner: They've earned the accolades for themselves with their recently released self-titled debut album, and they more than deserve their slot opening for Cheap Trick at the Vic Theatre on Dec. 10, WXRT-FM (93.1)'s Holiday Concert for the Kids.