Rival Schools - Pedals (Cover Artwork)

Rival Schools

Rival Schools: PedalsPedals (2011)
Photo Finish Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: JS3JS3
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Hard to believe 10 years have passed, but Rival Schools have emerged with a second album. Pedals comes as the band's signature mark after reuniting in 2008, releasing their debut, United by Fate, in the summer of 2001. The present band roster, which includes the entire original cast, has finally .
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Hard to believe 10 years have passed, but Rival Schools have emerged with a second album.

Pedals comes as the band's signature mark after reuniting in 2008, releasing their debut, United by Fate, in the summer of 2001. The present band roster, which includes the entire original cast, has finally followed up an album that helped influence a shift in alternative music for the early part of the last decade. They are a band that served as a tremendous influence for post-hardcore pioneers, and their sound is one noticeable in the works of bands such as Sparta, These Arms Are Snakes and even portions of Cave In's catalog, among others.

Where United by Fate was an album often ready to burst at the seams with energy, Pedals shows a more matured and controlled feel, even somewhat experimental at moments with bass tones and frequent use of acoustic guitars and distortion effects.

"Choose Your Own Adventure" opens with a cool synthesized bass, featuring minimal guitar work until about midway through the song, while "Eyes Wide Open" and "Shot After Shot" recapture the energy and sound from United by Fate and serve as a modern reprisal of their signature sound from a decade ago. "69 Guns" incorporates piano notes and an effect on the lead guitar reminiscent of U2's The Joshua Tree, and at times has a similar feel to some of the cuts off another project of frontman Walter Schreifels' doing, Walking Concert. Also noteworthy is that Schreifels' raspy, unique vocal style and range is as strong as ever and has grown in the time away from the project.

Perhaps most satisfying from this offering is that the music comes off honest and spirited, rather than contrived or forced. It is clear early on the album that this isn't a reunion project based on generating a cash flow or bankroll. In this era of frequently contrived reunions and band break-ups that feel like they're only separating for the eventual reunion bonanza, to see musicians get back together for the music itself, for themselves and for their fans is wonderfully refreshing.

While this record isn't likely to go down as an influential classic like their first release, it's still a great listen and worth your time. While there are a few album tracks that aren't as strong as others, once Pedals begins to spin it feels like a natural and appropriate followup, worthy of adding to the band's back catalog. Good things did indeed come their way.

Let's just hope that if this group has a third album in them that it's released before 2021.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Claro (April 7, 2011)

Just enjoyed a conversation with the Rival Schools folks...they're on board with Charlie Sheen and divided on European fashion. But...Wring it Out is the strongest song on that album... http://www.theinertia.com/music-art/rival-schools-interview/

Cox_Attack (March 19, 2011)

A Parts for B Actors is incredible. Love this album. Definitely a solid 4 out of 5.

AndyHG (March 17, 2011)

I was really disappointed with this album. It's really heavy on the production and sounds dated to 5-10 years ago. I think it lacks a lot of the energy from "United by Fate" that can't be covered up with more layers. I wanted to be impressed with this, but I can't help feel like it was an over-hyped reunion.

breakaway (March 12, 2011)

This'll probably make the top records this year, amazing!

icapped2pac (March 10, 2011)

Cool synthesized bass? Maybe if you were into Backstreet Boys-styled production. At least it was just a bad bump in an otherwise decent if underwhelming album.

Greensmith (March 10, 2011)

I am loving this album right now. The B-sides are kickass too.

xfreekx (March 10, 2011)

This is a great album.

And it's not 'Joshua Tree' that 69 Pedals reminds you of. The riff is almost note for note of U2's 'Gloria' from 'October.'

popdresses (March 10, 2011)

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thepopeofchili-town (March 9, 2011)

Just listened to this for the first time this morning. It's awesome.

pavexparadise (March 9, 2011)

This album is really great! It's kinda like what I was hoping the new Get Up Kids album was going to be but wasn't at all...

Blackjaw_ (March 8, 2011)

eatdogs, there's 2 unreleased albums.

lucifersrobot (March 8, 2011)

I can't wait to hear this, United By Fate is an absolute classic.

eatdogs (March 8, 2011)

first off, i want to say that i love the cover art very much. second, does this have any resemblance to their unreleased album??? according to my own personal obligations, i'm going to state this as their "third" album. i love everything these guys have done...

Cos (March 8, 2011)

Really good stuff. Some of it almost just feels like a repeat of "United By Fate" but I loved that album so I'll take this in a heartbeat. Loving "Choose Your Own Adventure" and "Shot After Shot"

mowlio (March 8, 2011)

Not worth waiting 10 years for. It's not a bad album by any account but now Rival Schools have a lost album and a forgot album (pedals).

R3vengeTherapy (March 8, 2011)

I like this record a lot, and it feels like it has more staying power than United By Fate ever did for me. You can still hear those bits of Quicksand mixed in too, which I love.

"69 Guns" is definitely a highlight track, though it sounds a hell of a lot like something off of Maritime's Heresy and the Hotel Choir.

Jelone (March 8, 2011)

GAAAAAH I hope this comes in the mail today. "Shot After Shot" has been stuck in my head for a while now.

preston (March 8, 2011)

Great release. One of the tops of what has becoming a great year of music.

Mystereohasmono (March 8, 2011)

Some really awesome songs on this. Only 2 songs that don't really do it for me, but a solid 4/5.

MN_DrNick (March 8, 2011)

This blew me out of the water. Really good album. One of the best thus far in the year of 2011.

facetofacereunion08 (March 8, 2011)

"undercovers on" is one of my fav songs ever, excited to give this a listen

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