Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Rival Schools - Pedals (2011)
Rival Schools are an emo band from New York who have just recorded/released a new full length after a 10-year waiting period. Don't worry, guys, you didn't make me wait, because I have no idea who you are. Punknews posted a link to the full album streaming online for free, so I of course saw this as an opporunity to review something, since I've been too distracted for the past few days to do anything. The only thing that interested me from researching them is that they teamed up with Jonah Matranga from Far and Onelinedrawing to do an EP once, and my friend Amanda is obsessed with Jonah. Other than that, I'll have to listen to them to know anything else useful about them.
Oh sweet! They use one of my favorite guitar tones for their lead. Their vocalist is very soft-spoken, or soft-sung rather. He purposely sounds like he's always out of breath, or trying to calm down an excited person, or something. The drums sound weird, and the bass might as well be inaudible. Their style is pretty basic, and would've been a little more unique sounding if it were released in 2002 instead of 2011, but it's not necessarily bad, so much as it is boring. I like some of these songs, but it's more like how every song on the radio is lame, but you start knowing the lyrics to the easier-on-the-ears ones and eventually you actually like it when the song comes on. It's kind of like that. There are a lot of people I could definitely recommend this band to who would love it, but I wouldn't recommend it to me. I would probably recommend it to the Bear, since she loves Everclear and all. It's not bad, you know.
Some of these songs actually have more of a kick to them than I would've expected, though. "Eyes Wide Open" has the singer showing a little bit of emotion in his voice at times, which is actually kind of cool. His voice is good for that. "Choose Your Own Adventure" is like a dance track, and definitely stands out and something different from the rest of the album, but not really something different from the rest of the music industry. I like the song "Big Waves" a lot, and that's probably because it's one where their effort shines through. The bass is still fucking inaudible, which always bugs me...and not just because I hope to play bass in a band someday. The album closes with "The Ghost Is Out There", which is just another song that sounds pretty much whatevery. The distorted tone sounds like an amplitube plugin or something off of garageband, so it has that going for/against it.
I don't know why this band is labeled as post-hardcore, honestly. But I guess you can call music whatever you want to, and I won't bitch. I mean, people call Streetlight Manifesto ska and get away with it. This album isn't bad, really. It's not bold, brave, or beautiful either. It's something that exists. You can stream it here if you're interested in giving them a shot yourself. I give it like a 2.5/5 I think?