Last we heard from Austin & The Avenue was 2022’s excellent Waiting on the Flood, a collection of jangly pop rock that blended the rock lean of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with the songsmith heart and soul of Ryan Adams. 

Austin Marsh, the leader and namesake of Austin & The Avenue, is a solid guitar picker and an even more solid songwriter giving the listener buzzing pop rockers with just enough heartfelt balladry to fill any quality mixtape.

Never sitting on his laurels, Marsh got the Avenue back into the studio after spending most of 2022 writing and recorded 10 tracks that make up the band’s new long player Rough Translation. Pop sensibility goes a long way with these bluesy rockers and introspective ballads, making this the band’s best album yet.

According to Marsh when he spoke with Whatzup recently about title track “Rough Translation,” “It’s more or less about the breakdown of communication.” Of the 10 tracks here, “Rough Translation” stands out. Opening in a melancholy sort of mood, it kicks into a sleek rock n’ roll groove. Some great slide guitar puts just the right amount of grit over top, bringing White Denim vibes. 

Likewise, album opener “Wolf in Shepherd’s Clothes” shows off the Avenue’s musical prowess, opening up the track sounding like a bluesier Dixie Dregs. Marsh tells a cautionary tale with soulful conviction and bluesy sway.

Along with Marsh, drummer/percussionist Colin Boyd and bassist Lance Roberts make up Austin & The Avenue. 

The album sounds sleek but with a raw, live feel thanks to True Blue Studios, owned and operated by Christian Bear. The album was engineered and recorded by Jordan Stoffel. It’s the perfect blending of studio sophistication but with a sense of in-the-moment energy.

From tracks like “Long Distance Lover” and “Lit Up Crown” to “Blindsided” and album closer “A Place Where No One Can Find Me,” Austin & The Avenue put it all into every song. All killer no filler is a phrase that comes to mind with Rough Translation

Austin & The Avenue have done it again.