Review Summary: My Wonder Years thankfully got cancelled
Pop-punk kind of sucks lately. All the newer bands sound the same to me, and they all seem to have immature and obnoxious high school poetry type lyrics that were likely scribbled into a tear soaked diary in between Gym and Biology. That's not really what I look for when I seek out a pop-punk record; I'm not in high school any more after all. I don't want the prom king writing the songs, I want a slightly overweight and bearded midwesterner who is willing to put his beer and cigarette down just long enough to scream the words he wrote in a tattered notebook over blaring guitar chords. Collapser
is Banner Pilot at their best; a beer drenched anthem churning machine that brings credibility back to a fledgling pop-punk scene.
Banner Pilot are kind of like fellow punk group Latterman in that almost all of their songs sound like album closing anthems. Collapser
is a relentless collection of high energy sing along jams that doesn't let up for a single second of its 34 minutes runtime. With their audible bass, tight songwriting, and original sounding singer, The four piece from Minneapolis manage to craft a collection of catchy track after catchy track that never feels stale or longwinded. A lot of the appeal of Banner Pilot is their simplicity and lack of pomp. There's not a lot of flashy musicianship to be found here; mostly just power chords and some rifftastic bass, but hey whatever works.
The biggest difference between Banner Pilot and most of their pop-punk peers is their penchant for witty, metaphor filled lyrics. Laments like "How did another year turn out so bad""and "You're what I came here for" might sound whiney if done by a lesser band, but Banner Pilot have an inane ability to tackle song topics such as regret and longing for someone without coming off as sophomoric. Banner Pilot's singer has a rather rough tone to his voice, but his harsh tone never outweighs the impressive melodies he's belting out. The upbeat nature of the music, and the delivery of the vocalist are what really sell the lyrics.
Short and sweet song structures, lyrics that are relatable without pandering, elegant guitar chords; these are all ingredients that result in a grade A pop-punk record, and Banner Pilot excel at every single one of them on their genre defining album Collapser.