One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2010 for at least a few of the Last Hours fraternity – and RVIVR haven’t disappointed.
RVIVR’s first full length carries on in much the same vein as their first two vinyl releases. They play a much simpler, and (for want of a more fitting cliché) ‘stripped-back’ sort of pop-punk, but do it amazingly well, with the added dynamic of dual male & female vocals.
These vocal styles compliment & contrast with each other really well – with the interesting element of the female vocal taking on the more abrasive, sharper role on some songs – but doing it really, really well, and rather than taking away from the overall sound of a simple pop-punk song they add an amazing quality I’ve rarely heard from other similar bands… “Real Mean” being a good case in point… Think Brody Dalle, but with some talent, a shred of artistic integrity and the ability to carry a tune. The male vocals of Matt Canino - which will be familiar to fans of Latterman and Shorebirds -are amazing too!
The song structures are pretty simple on the whole, but fit perfectly well for what the band’s about – anything more complicated just wouldn’t work as well, which in itself is a great achievement, when you consider how many pop-punk bands out there get things so badly wrong, or over-complicate things for the sake of it. There are some nice variations between faster & more mid-tempo tunes through the record – but everything they try these guys have pulled off admirably.
Lyrics follow much the same format – easy to sing along to, and pretty straight forward – but still interesting and clearly not just written about inconsequential crap.
I’m really liking the production on the record too – it’s clean enough to give it the sort of sound I personally like for pop-punk, but it’s most definitely not over-produced, there’s still some rough-round-the-edges elements that only enhance the sound, and I’m sure that’s not a coincidence.
Personal favourite songs on the album – Change on Me, Edge of Living and Cut the Cord.
I love RVIVR, and would recommend this to anyone else into the likes of Latterman, Lawrence Arms, Gordon Gano’s Army or even Alkaline Trio. Get a copy while the sun’s out, and you’re away…