Another solid record from one of the best bands doing the gravely-yet-melodic-punk-rock-thing. It’s musical comfort food. The chops are there, the hooks and choruses are pleasing, and its an overall satisfying meal.
As with every Banner Pilot record, it’s easy for the songs to blend together into a nice warm batch of “this is pretty good.” But with most great albums, it takes repeated listens to get to the blood and guts of the record. As the hooks and lyrics sink in, you are painted a poetic picture of the ups and downs of everyday life. The tedium of work, relationship problems, missed connections, drinking as a means of coping, and the brief moments when it all makes sense. It’s all in there somewhere if you pay enough attention.
The biggest change in their sound is Nick singing in a lower register like on “Spanish Reds” and “Eraser”, which at times provides a nice contrast to Nick’s normal high and raspy delivery. While initially off-putting, (basically, a what the fuck? who the hell is singing this song?) the vocals eventually blend together nicely, and provide a subtle contrast that was missing in their previous work.
The auto-tune on the new vocals does get a bit annoying at times. Overall the tempos seem a bit slower than on Collapser, but it doesn’t really drain from the overall experience of the album. The production is still top-notch. While it may not be their best work overall, Heart Beats Pacific is a strong showing of Banner Pilot’s ability to craft catchy and memorable songs, even if they don’t quite grab you at first. Hit repeat and you’ll get it.[line]
*featured photo by Kristen Swanson
Heart Beats Pacific is available on Fat Wreck Chords, you can check out a stream of the album HERE on punknews.org profile.
Also for a full track by track break down you can check it HERE at Alternative Press.
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