Grown Up Avenger Stuff, an indie quartet from Charlotte, North Carolina, rocks the stage with a quirky and dynamic lead female singer. Her name is Deirdre Kroener and, as talented as she is, it's ironic that about five years ago guitarist John Thomsen came across her online. Upon finding her, John assembled the rest of the group by keeping it in the family. His brothers Hunter and Tyler soon joined in. All that was needed was a name. And they did that online, as well. With the help of an online Random Band Name Generator, the name Grown Up Avenger Stuff was created. Now, as they step on stage, they seek to "melt the faces" -- as they refer to it -- of their crowds.
Deirdre's voice is full of verve, and she wants to make her audience feel good about who they are. She wants them to be happy to be alive. And she does achieve her goals in the recent release of Sparkleton by sometimes being noisy, sometimes silky, and other times colossal. Her voice can be placed alongside the grace of Slick, the beat of Benatar, and the coolness of O. Equal to her are the instrumentals of Hunter, Tyler, and John who control the sound yet complement the grit in Deirdre voice. When asked who their influences are, they might respond: "Beatles, Beatles, Beatles."
In the opening track, "Some of Us," the voice and instrumentals start off soft, but crisp, gradually building up to a harder and faster pace. The song slows down again but then builds back up to that crisp, but hard, voice of Deirdre who belches out the lyrics "I need to feel/I know I am real!" before exploding into an infusion of the voice and instrumentals.
On the other hand, "The Beat" is kind of like a strange marriage between rap and rock with its fast beat and encouraging message: "You got it, you can't lose it." The final third of "The Beat" is vastly slowed down, to a point where it seems like an entirely new song, where it delivers the last message: "It's your mind -- your one and only." In keeping with this tempo, the upbeat dance song "Too Cool" is a fun pace anthem for the underdog as Deirdre chants "you are too cool, too cool, too cool for me" before ending it with a shout "You are not cool at all!"
This past summer, Grown Up Avenger Stuff was chosen, out of a pool of 400-plus bands, to represent the United States in Canada, as well as performed in nine music festivals across America. In 2010, Deirdre Kroener won best female vocalist by Creative Loafing Charlotte and the band has opened for performers such as Cursive, Sick of Sarah, April Smith, Vanity Theft, and Hunter Valentine.
Clearly electrifying, the perfect match of Deirdre Kroener and the Thomsen Bros have fans showing up in droves to hear them as they make their way onto various stages. They're good, but most of all they make you feel alive.
"The Man" off Grown Up Avenger Stuff's Sparkleton