Reviews Banner Pilot Resignation Day

Banner Pilot

Resignation Day

With a pedigree including Rivethead and Off With Their Heads there are certain expectations behind Banner Pilot's debut full length. In addition to their resume, the band has received a number of rave reviews that boost these lofty expectations. Resignation Day largely proves the buzz correct.

What Banner Pilot delivers is nothing groundbreaking: they play rough pop-punk much like their former band Rivethead and its sister offshoot Dear Landlord. There are hints of East Bay melodies and basslines, but the reflective lyrics are purely Midwestern. Think Pinhead Gunpowder meets Dillinger Four, or Off With Their Heads if Ryan could write less depressing songs.

There's also a bit of polished and easy to digest Screeching Weasel pop in the mix. The 90's pop-punk influence comes through on songs like “Milemarking,” with the emphasis being on Nick Johnson’s vocal inflection and well-placed rhythm guitars. Johnson's voice is a familiar one - not quite clean and poppy, but it's not really gravelly or rough either, straddling that magical line between everyman and professional. "Cut Bait" and "Wired Wrong" are good examples of the band’s sound: raspy, fast, and punchy but still highly melodic and countered with a few impatient backing vocals and trade-offs. They use this formula often, but it works.

The black and white cover, with its abandoned fast food sign is fitting for the band's style. It's straight-forward with a simple approach. The songs have meaning, but you also won't need to head straight to Wikipedia with the lyrics sheet for reference either. They talk to you, and not from a podium in front of the room. The lyrics are largely a first person account of spending your twenties in the punk scene - the reflections of idealism versus the oncoming responsibilities and indifference of getting older. Johnson often speaks of the transitions between periods: the weekend binges of recklessness that contrast with another lifestyle: "Pack up your bags, if we don't run we'll rust," he sings in "Empty Your Bottles." Don’t let go of your youth, even if it’s only for a whimsical lark. These tales are punctuated with an outline of the Uptown Minneapolis area, adding a sense of place to personalize his stories.

If you like your punk catchy and rough around the edges, with thoughtful lyrics and a Midwestern storytelling this is for you.

8.0 / 10Loren
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