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Over the James

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Over the James album cover
01
Deepwood
2:01
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02
New #2
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03
August
2:33
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Fall Apart
1:53
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Nickel Bridge
2:15
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Scuffle Town
1:19
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Sanctuary 13
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S.R.O.
2:03
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Midtown West
2:26
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Lombardy Street
2:28
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Vine
1:44
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Cross Tie
3:53
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Ask
2:16
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Fifth Wheel
3:20
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Lombardy Street (Acoustic)
2:37
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You May Be Right
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Suspicious Minds
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Said Gun
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 18   Total Length: 43:47

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They Say All Music Guide

Finishing off Jade Tree’s 2006 Avail reissue series, 1998′s Over the James appears repackaged in the new millennium with rare photos and a sprinkle of liner note commentary. Also appended are four additional tracks, taken from their 1997 split release The Fall of Richmond with (Young) Pioneers and two compilations: Return of the Read Menace (1999) and the Trustkill Embrace tribute album Land of Greed…World of Need (1994). Building upon the foundation laid on 4AM Friday, Over the James boasts an even louder and tighter band with more mature songwriting. A personal favorite for many Avail fans, the album is probably the most fully realized of the ones reissued in 2006, and it owes much to the band’s roots in Richmond, VA. Homegrown reflections are dotted throughout the record, from the river mentioned in the album’s title to sentiments brashly addressed in songs like “Scuffle Town” and “Fifth Wheel.” Tim Barry continues to gruffly spit personal and impassioned lyrics on standout tracks like the rousing “August,” the ferocious “S.R.O.,” and don’t forget the bipolar intensity of “Nickel Bridge.” Of course, the rest of the album is hardly filler, as there isn’t a weak track among the 14 presented here. As aforementioned, this reissue appends four bonus songs. The James version of “Lombardy Street” is a great, hardened melodic rocker, so it’s kind of nice to be reminded that the band first revealed the song on their 1997 split as a more composed, acoustic-driven number — both empowered versions are present for personal comparisons. The three remaining additions are various cover songs: Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right,” Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds,” and Embrace’s “Said Gun.” Cover songs are generally fun — and these are, especially “Said Gun” — but not absolutely necessary for those who already own Over the James. They’re merely lucky extras for those purchasing the album for the first time, but hardly worth obtaining a second copy for. Unless, of course, you’re a hardcore Avail completist, but then, what do you even need this review for in the first place? – Corey Apar

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