Let’s face it; Every Avenue’s songwriting has never really been their strong suit. 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), which is immediately evident on the albums icebreaker, “Tie Me Down.” This is a solid opening track that adheres to Every Avenue’s blueprint of bouncing huge hooks off of catchy verses just begging to be sung. This is a theme that runs into the subsequent “Whatever Happened to You” and “There Tonight,” the best one-two punch of Bad Habits. The single “No One But You” is a fun, rollicking jaunt with an animated beat and soaring melodies. It is “Someday, Somehow” that serves as Bad Habits’ most well-rounded track, one ready for radio airplay.
One thing that has not changed with Every Avenue is the vocal contributions of front man Dave Strauchman, whose work on the mic remains simply tremendous. He is a force that drives the albums endearing, bleeding heart-on-sleeve moments (“I Can’t Not Love You,” “Only Place I Call Home”) something Every Avenue 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 Every Avenue’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.