When people make music, it sometimes amazes me that something fall by the wayside and other bands come along later to pick the bones of the original artists who were short lived (and in some cases much better). With Rival Schools, it is sort of strange to start with. Originally this band were something of a Hardcore supergroup, with members of Quicksand, CiV, Gorilla Biscuits and Iceburn coming together to release this glorious moment. After it comes out the band were working on a second album before they split up. They did eventually come back together, but for a long while it looked as if this was all that would be released by this wonderfully quirky little group of people.
As with a lot of Post Hardcore music, you get a lot of similar numbers on this album. It is also not the most original release that has ever been, and I will be honest as well I got a little lost in the middle of the record and had to go back a few times to make sure I was not listening to the same song. However, it is also a good example of when Post Hardcore is played well; it can be uplifting and quite frankly as good as anything else out there.
Singer Walter Schreifels dominates this album for me with his vocals and the song writing of the entire band just has a quality. Opening with "Travel By Telephone" and with "Used For Glue" (the band's best track - it has been proven by beer and science) and going via the heart ripping "Undercovers On" and to the slightly poppy ending of "Hooligans For Life" this is a very good advertisement for a limited genre. Let's best honest, even those of us who love it know that there is only so many ways you can marry up heart breaking lyrics and the sonic distortion pedal. Also, even after listening to this for years I do find some parts of the album merging into one which is sometimes a problem for Post Hardcore. But even with these little faults (and they are little), it is just head and shoulders above anything else in the genre. It took them 10 years to release something else afterwards, and I (or one of the others) will look into that later. But sometimes, you just have to start at the beginning.
9 out of ten - Almost perfect....Almost
You can purchase from this amazon link (1 of 2)
You can purchase from here on amazon (2 of 2)
You can visit the band's website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here