Review Summary: "Magic's not gone from the world it's just harder to find"
Latterman was a band that, despite the quality of their output, probably needed to break up. When Latterman dispersed, the members went on to create fantastic music in a bunch of different bands, such as Iron Chic, Laura Stevenson and The Cans, and, of course, RVIVR. RVIVR was formed not long after the aforementioned disbandment by Matt Canino, who was the bassist and one of the vocalists for Latterman, taking his DIY ethics and ear for writing top notch melodies with him. Entering 2013, RVIVR had released a self-titled LP, and EP, and a few 7”, all of which hinted at greatness without fully realizing it. Fortunately, RVIVR tightened the screws in preparation for The Beauty Between
, creating a punk album that is simultaneously heartbreaking, beautiful, and a blast to listen to.
The real strength of RVIVR comes in the vocal interplay between guitarists/vocalists Canino and Erica Freas. Both vocalists can hold their own, but together they create an interesting dynamic to each of The Beauty Between’s
fourteen tracks. Freas is a much more varied and interesting vocalist than Canino, who is at home with his trademark yell, and a bit less so when he tries a more melodic approach. Lyrically, RVIVR is very much about messages, writing about feminism, politics, homophobia and anything that disgusts them, but they write in a way that is less about crushing you under the weight of their message and more about getting people to connect with the lyrics and mining a deeper message out of those lyrics, for the most part.
Helping get their message across is some of the catchiest songwriting in punk, with melodies that stick to the listener like gorilla glue. The consistency in the songwriting helps take The Beauty Between
to another level, with the album never dipping or becoming monotonous with repeated listens. The energy displayed tricks the mind into thinking that The Beauty Between
is a debut, but the musical and lyrical confidence contained in each track makes it evident that the members are veterans of the punk scene. “The Hunger Suites”, broken into three tracks at the tail end of the album, is the obvious highlight, with a haunting vibe, and vocals awash in pain and frustration. The best of the bouncier tracks is “Spider Song”, originally written by Erica Freas and released on her solo album, with a strong bassline and “whoas” that Brian Fallon could only dream about.
RVIVR has taken their songwriting to another level and released the first definitive punk album of 2013. With a clear voice and unrelenting convictions, the band is clearly no longer worried about living under the shadow of Latterman, nor should they be. The Beauty Between
shows that RVIVR is at the level that Latterman once were, and with the possibility of leaving a greater legacy within the next couple years. RVIVR is not a band that should be overlooked by any fan of punk and pop-punk, as The Beauty Between
is an album whose quality is rarely matched.