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Banner Pilot - Souvenir (Cover Artwork)

Banner Pilot

Banner Pilot: SouvenirSouvenir (2014)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: RubiksPubeRubiksPube
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Just about every review and article dealing with Minnesota's Banner Pilot always mentions how their sound never changes. How they write and record the same couple of tunes over and over again. Anyone who is actually familiar with the band knows this to be false. Banner Pilot's songwriting has chang.
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Just about every review and article dealing with Minnesota's Banner Pilot always mentions how their sound never changes. How they write and record the same couple of tunes over and over again. Anyone who is actually familiar with the band knows this to be false. Banner Pilot's songwriting has changed dramatically since 2006's Pass the Poison e.p. and the newly released Souvenir proves it. However, is this necessarily a good thing? Would they be better if they kept on churning out fast, gritty, catchy punk songs reminiscent to the ashes Rivethead left in its wake?

Souvenir starts off with the already released song "Modern Shakes", which has a vibe in the vein of their last album, Heart Beats Pacific. This formula of somewhat slowed down verses/super catchy and punchy choruses/lyrics about being alone and (usually) drinking is apparent throughout Souvenir, but the new album just seems to have something that the last one was missing. Instead of buzzing guitars accompanied by Nick Johnson's growl to a rapid tempo, songs like "Effigy" and "Dead Tracks" begin with heavy palm-muted guitars with more melodic vocals. Then, to absolutely everybody's surprise, a clean chorus with a nice hook comes around to change things up. Yes, this is very predictable songwriting, but that's just because it works. Maybe it's just this stupid reviewer's opinion, but the chorus seems to sound better and equally mean more to the listener when it grabs you by the balls following a calmer and coherent verse.

The new record works extremely well as the kind of album you have to listen to all the way through every time. It's coherent and each song works off of another song. Sure, instant fan favorite tracks are there, like "Dead Tracks", "Hold Fast", and "Springless", but the band has finally released an album that can be best understood and enjoyed in its entirety. Souvenir is certainly no random collection of songs like 2008's Resignation Day. Plus, the recording quality sounds better than anything they've ever released.

Every song seems to stand out more than the last. Bassist/co-songwriter Nate Gangelhoff has already stated that "I think the attitude of ??Let's keep trying to make this better' paid off." I would have to agree with him. For fans of Banner Pilot, Souvenir is the expected sequel to Heart Beats Pacific, but a little slower (and arguably better) than its predecessor. For people who have never heard of the band, I'd recommend picking this up. However, don't judge Banner Pilot's sound on this one album alone. Just like almost every great band that ever existed, they are consistently evolving and changing their overall sound. Banner Pilot wouldn't be able to keep writing such good songs if they were held to the constraints of their earlier, heavier pure punk style. Bands are like people. They grow up and change. Not necessarily for better or for worse, they just end up different. Luckily for Banner Pilot, this different sound is just as good as the old songs that originally made them stand out in the first place.



 

 
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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.
ak3punk (1 day ago)

This album gets better with every listen. Possibly the best album they've ever done.

woodprop (May 20, 2014)

This is their first album I don't care for. Aside from Hold Fast, most of it seems lifeless.

ak3punk (May 6, 2014)

Great album. Not sure if I like this one more than the last one, needless to say I can't stop listening to it. "Summer Ash" is an excellent closing track. Can't wait to hear/see these live.

BarleyPat (April 24, 2014)

sickboi? There's a blast from the past.

sickboi (April 20, 2014)

One of my favorite bands, and this record is really, really good. On first listen I wasn't sure how I felt, but it's truly a grower. Each listen it gets better and better. "Dead Tracks" is officially the jam of summer 2014.

rubikspube (April 20, 2014)

Yeah dude below me, "Hold Fast" also and oddly enough reminds me of Dude Ranch. I've listened to this album a ton in the last week and I think it's the best they've ever done. It really grows on ya.

filbunke (April 17, 2014)

I like this album. My biggest problem with Banner Pilots has always been that too many songs sounds the same. The problem is still present here.

I actually like "Hold Fast" even if it sounds like Sum 41. "Heat Rash", "Effigy" and "Dead Tracks" are my favorites so far.

blaarg (April 16, 2014)

This isn't BAD, it's just kind of boring. No track really stands out. Heart Beats Pacific had a lot more variety.

notfeelingcreative (April 16, 2014)

Really didn't care for collapser. Digging this a lot.

77punker (April 16, 2014)

Just got the disc & listened to it twice so far...I like it but it just doesn't come close to the hooks & energy of Collapser!!

telegraphrocks (April 16, 2014)

"I have no clue how so many people can jump to a conclusion so fast. I think it sounds great, love the bass play! Give it some time ya download junkies."
------------

Did you think about what you were writing, or did your fingers just type a bunch of hypocritical, stupid bullshit by themselves?

You have no clue how so many people can jump to a conclusion, then immediately jump to the conclusion yourself that "it sounds great".
"Give it some time". The album leaked a month ago. Time has been given. Listened to it multiple times. I don't think it's good at all.

pwnther (April 16, 2014)

Good album. I'll give it a week or so before comparing it to the others, but I like it a lot already.

levidolphin (April 15, 2014)

I have no clue how so many people can jump to a conclusion so fast. I think it sounds great, love the bass play! Give it some time ya download junkies.

dangerdangerdanger (April 15, 2014)

As a big Banner Pilot fan I found myself somewhat disappointed with this album. It's not bad by any means, it's stronger than Resignation Day, on par with Collapser but I felt Heart Beats Pacific was a huge step forward for them songwriting wise. Musically this is probably their best album but aside from the first track I nothing really stuck with me after a few listens, I feel like this album is missing the hooks and catchy choruses that HBP had.
7/10

chri5topher (April 15, 2014)

I like that they dont mess with a good thing. This is definitely an "album"...meant to be played the whole way through...I think it's great.

icapped2pac (April 15, 2014)

Loved it from jump. "Letterbox" is my main standout so far, but I look forward to getting to the know the album more and finding other favorites. I get how people looking for some huge stylistic jump might be disappointed, but I for one am grateful to have one dependable band who doesn't "mature" by taking leaps and bounds toward pop-rock with every successive release. It's great to have something like this that has the right ratio (for me) of familiar and new.

hbwlons4 (April 15, 2014)

I think somehow they're too sing-songy...

hbwlons4 (April 15, 2014)

I like this band and a few of their songs stick out to me but not many.

sadastronaut (April 14, 2014)

I think it's by far their best album. Am I weird?

jeffw (April 14, 2014)

Like telegraph said, not a standout track. Loved their previous efforts. This seems half-assed.

BonerPirate (April 14, 2014)

Best tracks are Letterbox, Heat Rash, Match Stick and Dead Tracks. Weakest are Fireproof and Colfax. I think I like it more than their last one, but the first two are unbeatable.

NightsWasted (April 14, 2014)

Found the song Colfax the best off this album. My extreme familiarity with Collapser is the root of my disappointment since it failed to live up to that level. With that said though its still damn good

Nocashstyle (April 14, 2014)

I enjoy this even more than Heart Beats Pacific. It's certainly not Collapser or Resignation Day, but it's exactly what you expect from Banner Pilot. This band cannot write a bad record

benflo1208 (April 14, 2014)

Love it. What first made me stoked on the band was the end of "Alchemy". You can tell they definitely went for more bright catchy sing along punk like that track features. More creative effort without changing what people like about Banner Pilot. At least they didnt pull a Rise Against or Againt Me! and water their sound down for the major labels. DIG IT!

telegraphrocks (April 14, 2014)

Listened to it a couple of times, and can't even find a standout track.

Definitely their weakest album. Bummer.

Tudor (April 14, 2014)

Great band, but this is their weakest album yet.

conebone69 (April 14, 2014)

Zzzzzz

yoitsnotrerun (April 14, 2014)

i got and email with the download link from fat on release date for the record i pre-ordered.

Problematiclogic (April 14, 2014)

You got mp3s in the mail?

yoitsnotrerun (April 14, 2014)

"The new record works extremely well as the kind of album you have to listen to all the way through every time."
same as every other banner pilot record for me. i'm still waiting for my colored lp to come from fat wreck so i haven't heard it yet, though i got the mp3s in the mail the other day i'm waiting for the real thing and the lyrics sheet.

loganrich (April 14, 2014)

I love this band so much. My top three tracks on this of as now:
1. Shoreline
2. Heat Rash
3. Effigy

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