Review Summary: More Latterman offshoots = no complaint here
At this point in time, Latterman is virtually impossible to keep tabs on. After the band’s cataclysmic (well to many of us anyway) split in 2007, the members have scattered throughout the United States to punk rock outfits such as Iron Chic and RVIVR among others. Latterman co-front man Matt Canino had already been exerting his vocal chords with the Olympia, Washington based Shorebirds as a side project, but the band’s breakup left question marks where he would end up next. Joining forces with Erica Freas of Hooky, RVIVR was subsequently formed just years after Latterman’s dissolution; serving as yet another offshoot of the Long Island punk rockers.
Unlike the obnoxious demeanor of their contemporary Iron Chic, RVIVR’s self-titled debut is formulated through a much more laid-back and melodic performance; placing emphasis on the tandem of vocalists. Despite the fact that Canino and Freas lack experience working together, RVIVR
is an indication that the two have already developed tremendous chemistry at the helm of the band. In many ways, Canino and Freas complement each other perfectly; Canino is constantly shouting in the anthemic fashion that was so apparent in Latterman, while Freas provides that raspy, higher register. The majority of the record displays this in full effect as the vocalists call and answer each other in highlight “Cut the Chord” and even trade off verses on “Change on Me.” This isn’t to say that the album suffers with only one of the vocalists at the helm, for the infectious “Real Mean” is Freas’ standout performance. Soothing, and edgy when necessary, “Real Mean” is a wonderful pop-punk tune which exemplifies the release’s melodic nature.
Although still retaining its punk rock tendencies, RVIVR
, clearly relies on a remarkable quantity of pop-appeal that is expressed through its anthemic hooks and instrumentation. Palm-muted guitars are utilized throughout, and the lead guitar is intricately incorporated to complement the vocals and rhythm section. “Animal Hands’s” fiery solo makes this especially notable, as well as the smooth interludes of “Breathe In.” With a melodic approach in place however, RVIVR
doesn’t cease to deliver moments of sheer intensity or the neck-breaking pace at which the genre is defined under. Closer “Change on Me” is your typical momentum-building closer; initiated by feedback and a somewhat relaxed atmosphere, and climaxing into a full-blown rocker that has both Canino and Freas shouting at the top of their lungs.
It is difficult to deny the magnitude of Latterman’s fragmentation, but in retrospect the disbanding has resulted in several solid groups such as RVIVR. With that said however, RVIVR has cultivated its own signature sound with their self-titled release and uncovers some serious potential for the future. The tandem of Matt Canino and Erica Freas could already be one of the more formidable male-female vocalist combinations in modern music, with RVIVR
demonstrating this in its entirety. While not showcasing anything groundbreaking or overly remarkable, RVIVR’s self-titled release is one of the more enjoyable records of 2010, one to shout along with like we did with Latterman.