Banner Pilot


Written by: PP on 31/08/2009 22:24:28

About a month back I reviewed American Steel's "Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts", noting that they probably sounded like Banner Pilot but that I actually hadn't a clue since they were one of the bands I always meant to check out but never got around to doing so. About a month later a copy of "Collapser", the third album by these Midwestern working class punks, revealed itself from inside a Fat Wreck labeled envelope so that situation has obviously changed entirely since then. For once, the promotional sheet has nailed a band's sound spot on: "If Jawbreaker, The Lawrence Arms, and Screeching Weasel had a drunken orgy while listening to Dillinger Four's entire catalog, Banner Pilot would be the resulting illicit offspring" - I couldn't say it better myself so I won't even try. Boo-yah.

The vocalist, first of all, sounds precisely like the dude from The Lawrence Arms except with a slightly more hoarse and smokier voice (like a mix of Dillinger Four's Costello and him), and generally the whole band uses elements from said bands, Jawbreaker and Screeching Weasel. Every now and then I can even hear some "Sink Or Swim" era The Gaslight Anthem in the mix as well. All of the songs hover around the three minute mark, each falling under the 'solid' or 'entirely decent' categories, but simultaneously appearing rather unspectacular as well. It's not that the passionate vocal delivery of "Greenwood" doesn't raise an eyebrow, or that the omnipresent vibrant bass-lines aren't something I'll put on repeat-listen, but it's just not album-of-the-year material either, if you catch my drift.

That's why it's also difficult to lift one song over the other. "Pensacola" has some nice rough guitar textures and a raw sound, but then again so does "Skeleton Keys" and "Losing Daylight". All decent songs but will I remember them in a few months time? Probably not. Then there's the poppiest track of the record, "Starting At The Ending", which has a chorus that reminds me a LOT about a rawer version of "Dirty Little Secret" by The All-American Rejects. What do you guys think, am I completely off here? In any case, "Collapser" should still appeal to you if any of the bands listed before are among your favorites - or just if Midwestern working class punk is high up on your genre preference list.


Download: Pensacola, Greenwood, Empty Lot
For the fans of: Dillinger Four, The Lawrence Arms, Jawbreaker, The Gaslight Anthem
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.08.2009
Fat Wreck Chords

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