Banner Pilot - Collapser
Record Label: Fat Wreck
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Dillinger Four and The Lawrence Arms may not yet be done in their crusade to bring sweaty orgcore to the Midwestern youth of America, but if the torch suddenly becomes too heavy in a couple years down the road, it's safe to say Banner Pilot would be more than happy to take it from them. The young Minnesota quintet joined the Fat Wreck family late last year after earning glowing compliments from fans and critics alike for their full-length debut, Resignation Day. As continuous road warriors gathering a massive following, Banner Pilot is set to light the orgcore scene ablaze with their sophomore release, Collapser.
Documenting twelve songs on the failures individuals can make and the ability to recover from them, Nick Johnson's vocals sound like early Blake Schwarzenbach blended with Brendan Kelly. That combination makes for the perfect sentiment on cut-up tracks like "Pensacola" and "Farewell to Iron Bastards." While the blue collar spirit is certainly nothing new to this style of punk rock, with Banner Pilot, it sounds well-versed and sparkles with genuine affection. Perhaps semi-autobiographical, Collapser does have a tendency to bleed together, but Johnson's words are so strikingly personal, you can feel his angst and aggression with every pull.
"A look at you, it hurts - I can't deny that," he sings on "Hold Me Up," the record's most vulnerable track. "It makes all the blood and bones melt right out of my knees when you speak." On "Losing Daylight," Johnson tries his hand at expository lyricism: "Another day, it's poetry / Write it, spill my heart out to her / But I'm no writer." There's just so much grit inside the honest words here, it's rather refreshing to see a Jawbreaker mentality simultaneously blended together with the prototypical Minnesota sound. "Write it Down" pulls this feat off by sounding like the best track from Dear You finding its way onto Situationist Comedy.
Collapser is more likely to work its way onto your best of 2009 lists come December due to the less-than-urgent poignancy that is seemingly buried within deep layers of melodic punk rock rhythm. Like the Ramones playing in a ball pit with Jawbreaker and Dillinger Four, Banner Pilot are likely to set up a fun day at the park and then run away with it all by the end. Yes, you'll be caught off-guard, but the more you think about it, you'll remember how much fun you had.
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
Or D4 is right. I actually reviewed this record for another site and gave it a rather poor rating. It's just a hackneyed version of a tired genre to me. I knew exactly what it sounded like before I even put it on.