Ten years after the release of their seminal debut “United By Fate”, Rival Schools is back with a new album. In this day and age that pretty much counts as an eternity. But after having listened to “Pedals” a bunch of times, I have to say that it was worth the wait. “Pedals” is not an instant classic, but Rivals Schools prove they’re still more relevant than most of the post-hardcore bands they inspired with their debut.
Because let us be honest here for a second… Rival Schools is one of the bands that can be held responsible for taking post-hardcore out of the basements and making it more marketable and radio-friendly, causing a whole lot of shitty bands to harass us with equally shitty music. The band redeems itself quickly enough though with songs like “Shot After Shot” and “69 Guns” which are energetic enough to cause some serious rocking out at shows while being mellow enough to listen to when you want to zone out. The liberal use of guitar effects alongside Walter Schreifel’s raspy vocals still work wonders together and with “Eyes Wide Open” they even wrote one of their best songs to date.
“Pedals” feels more mature (eww, hate that word) than “United By Fate” yet equally inspired. And while it probably won’t be as influential as their debut, it’s definitely worth checking out. Let’s just hope that if there’s going to be a third album, it won’t take another ten years to make.