6 August 2013

Rival Schools - Found

This is an album I have heard before I even knew this was being released.  I will get to that story first, but briefly depending on your point of view, this is either the second or third album release by Post hardcore legends Rival Schools.  Years ago in 2003, the band was working on their second album after the fantastic 'United By Fate' when they disbanded after Ian Love left.  Because of this, the album they were working on never officially saw the light of day.  Somehow the demos made it onto the internet (like all such releases - the band never really denied doing it - according to legend anyway, I have no way of proving one way or another).  Then in 2008, Rival Schools came back together and release a new album called Pedals, and some of the songs from that original set of demos made it onto the new record.  However, the original material was just left on the internet and never made an official release until April this year when it was released on vinyl and mp3.  So as I said, like Ankin Skywalker being killed by Darth Vader, it depends on your point of view.

Musically if you have heard Rival Schools before you are not getting anything different.  This is a classic mix of Post Hardcore and Emo Rock (Emo before it became a fashion statement) and even in its demo format that is 10 years old it sounds crisp and as if it could have been recorded in the room next to you.  There is no difference between the official release and the original MP3's that were released all those years ago on the interlink.  But keep in mind these are works in progress in certain ways, but you would be hard pushed to tell.  Songs like "Paranoid Dectives", the slow brooding "Reaching Out" and the wonderful "Big Waves" just seem almost complete and an extra layer of shine would not potential improve them in the eyes of this man.

Now this is not an album that is perfect, far from it in some regards.  It is not as instant as its more famous older brother - the wonderful 'United By Fate' and I do feel that it might have struggled to get to the audience upon release.  However, with that being said it is a lot more giving that the first album.  It has hidden depth like on "The Soft Skin" which just builds around some subtle and beautiful riffs and the end cover of the Buzzcocks "Why Can't I Touch It".  Sometimes things are best left lost, but sometimes an album gets it time in the sun way after it was created.  This may be an album that was destined to be lost, but as the album has been given a proper release, it can be appreciated by everyone.  Whilst not essential, it is never the less a nice little piece of Post Hardcore history.

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase the MP3 version of the album from Amazon here

You can purchase the vinyl version of the band on their website as well as some cool t-shirts

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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