Not Quite Rebels - Schoolyard Riot (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Not Quite Rebels

Schoolyard Riot (2005)


There comes a time in the life of every band where they just have to grow up. Blink-182 did it, Sum 41 did it, and so have many of the other pop-punk bands who wouldn't have thought twice about including poop, dick, and fart jokes in their songs. Not Quite Rebels have yet to come to that point, and their aptly titled record Schoolyard Riot is proof of this.

Bearing many similarities to old Blink-182, the band motors through ten tracks with out of key harmonies, basic riffs, and ridiculous lyrics. And when I say ridiculous lyrics, that's really not any sort of exaggeration. "Homecoming Hangover" exemplifies just what I'm talking about, but it's the chorus in particular that really sounds of Cheshire Cat-era Blink-182;

Looked down, my pants are gone, thank God I had clean boxers on.
The maturity level doesn't ever rise far past that, but I suppose it's all in good fun, as long as the band isn't expecting anyone to take them even close to seriously. It's not even so much the lyrics that are troubling, but the delivery really leaves a lot to be desired. It's not only irregular, but it greatly varies from song to song. It's really, not only in the inflection, but just the way the lyrics come out. You can tell it's all being sung by the same person, but between the varied, off-key sounds, and the actual delivery, there's no semblance of unity in any of the songs. It's primarily monotone, with a little bit more of a growl to it once he gets going a bit more loudly. The instrumentation is just as inconsistent, unfortunately. There's a lot of improper tunings, and a lot of spots where it just sounds like they missed a chord or two. Without deviating at all from a three-chord formula, something like that becomes extremely noticeable.

If this is music made by 17 and 18-year-olds, for other 17 and 18-year-olds to be played at high school talent shows, it's not half bad, but beyond that they fall flat on their faces.