Reviews Rivers Edge New Hope for the Dead

Rivers Edge

New Hope for the Dead

As a record reviewer, sometimes I find it hard to review different works by the same artists. There comes a point when I just say “this sounds like that,” which doesn’t help anyone. So as much as I’m trying to avoid that angle here, I’m going to start out by mentioning that Rivers Edge features members (and the same vocalists) from Future Virgins and Basement Benders, as well as members of ADD/C and Pine Hill Haints. It also shares an affinity for DIY production that’s a bit rough around the edges yet culminates in super-hooky melodies that hit me in the right spot.

Other than Pine Hill Haints, who I’ll admit I don’t know well enough for comparison-sake, I definitely hear shades of all the other bands on New Hope for the Dead, an 8-song tape that dropped last year. There are really three core concepts across this record: pained rage, cathartic singalongs, and those rough-around-the-edges melodies. Rivers Edge play catchy verse-chorus-verse with a penchant for getting stuck in your head. It’s angry, but it still feels personal enough that it has deeper meaning. 

Where Future Virgins aim for sky-high pleasing melodies, Rivers Edge instead is rougher and angrier. They shout as much as they sing. ADD/C used less traditional structures to build extra emotional impact, and that sum-of-the-parts songwriting is also on display here. The choruses are definitely the earworms, but the journey to get there is just as important as the climax. 

This is good stuff that any fan of basement punk singalongs should be able to get down to. I just reviewed their split with The Bananas, and that band is a good reference point, though there’s a noisier core and a lot of diverse, subtle influence that lies below the surface from the emotional pull of The Replacements to quirky hints of The Pixies.

7.5 / 10Loren
Leave a comment

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Share this content
Recent reviews

BIG|BRAVE

A Gaze Among Them

8.5 / 10 BIG|BRAVE - A Gaze Among Them album cover

Big | Brave set out on a sonic journey influenced and inspired by diverse forces. For the band, on the one hand there was the elusive pull of their native ...

Evening Standards

World’s End

7.8 / 10 Evening Standards - World’s End album cover

It’s a dramatic understatement to say that music has changed since I first discovered DIY in the 1990s. But in many ways, one of the first things I discovered about ...

BlackDots

Everything Has Gotta Change

9.0 / 10 BlackDots - Everything Has Gotta Change album cover

Some albums just hit you right away. I was vaguely aware of BlackDots – some friends saw them at The Fest last year and said nice things, so I figured ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.