Pillar
For the Love of the Game


1.5
very poor

Review

by Clifgard USER (10 Reviews)
June 11th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Only worth a listen for those that really, really love Pillar's game.

It seems that in the world of radio-ready hard rock, no musical growth goes unpunished. See: Pillar's The Reckoning, which took the band in a direction that, while not always successful its achievement, was at least reasonably ambitious in its aim. Fans apparently did not take kindly to Pillar's unusual blend of southern rock, punk, and powerpop, and thus Pillar followed the record by doing the worst thing possible: by listening to them.

The problem is that the group clearly went straight back to Where Do We Go From Here" for inspiration, not realizing that only one such album was as far as they needed to go. There's room in every accomplished rock band's discography for an unabashed, straightforward rocker, but in Pillar's case, there is no room for two (or three, but who's counting"). The result is an album that ticks all the boxes for a WDWGFH Part Deux without even rising to the occasion with equivalent musicality or lyricism.

The sole redeeming quality here, as is true with WDWGFH, is the graceful chemistry between guitarist Noah Henson and drummer Lester Estelle Jr. This is most evident in the opening title track, which contains some impressively well-constructed riffs and beats that carry the song capably. It's still baseball-walkout fodder, but at least it's good baseball-walkout fodder, and the same can be said of "State of Emergency," where Estelle truly shines amid what could have been a painfully average post-grunge rocker.

There is little positive left to say of the rest of For The Love Of The Game, however. Straight-to-pep-rally numbers "Reckless Youth" and "Throwdown" have Beckley and Co. sounding like a bunch of angsty varsity football players that didn't get the memo that adulthood came long ago, and "Turn It Up" is a nonsensical party-rocker incorporating the names of a bunch of Christian contemporary albums in some loose and meaningless narrative. "Smiling Down" is the obligatory ballad, and "Fading Away" is the equally obligatory duet with a very average female vocalist. The rest of what is on offer is largely forgettable, but at least "Forever Starts Now" channels some of The Reckoning's energy with modest success to close the album.

The album cover depicts an abandoned, desolate Coliseum, and I can hardly think of a more fitting image: while Pillar might have been on top of their (admittedly derivative) game with Where Do We Go From Here, For The Love Of The Game shows a band whose inspiration and creativity has long since dried up. For the listener who thinks "Frontline" is the end-all and be-all of rock and roll, FTLOTG should have a fair amount of appeal, but for everyone else, it's nothing more than an unfortunate reminder that Pillar needs a new game to play.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Friday13th
June 11th 2014


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pos'd nice review. This was my jam back when it came out, and yeah it has lots of nostalgia as I

especially loved the t/t and "State of Emergency". I agree with your points, though I might add

"Reckless Youth" is believe it or not a shameless rip off of "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row. lol I

think there was a time that "Frontline" was one of my favorites songs.

Digging: George Russell - Ezz-thetics

Clifgard
June 11th 2014


26 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks! I still love Frontline, and if I'm wrong for that, I don't want to be right. This was the first Pillar album I purchased, but my discretionary abilities have been sharpened a bit since 2008, and going back now this one just feels really rushed and awkward.

Friday13th
June 11th 2014


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol you're fine. I can tell you're headed in the "right direction." I still might listen to this sort of thing, but I listen to a whole lot more since I joined sputnik. Finding new stuff you like is what it's all about, right? Doing online research here and on similar sites like rateyourmusic.com really helps to expand and cement your tastes. Just don't be afraid to listen to a lot of weird stuff to finally find something that clicks :]

Toondude10
June 12th 2014


11696 Comments


Wonderful review my friend. It's a shame you don't review here that often, you're a very good writer.

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

Killerhit
June 12th 2014


6007 Comments


i remember jamming frontline back in the day, favorite pillar tune

Friday13th
June 12th 2014


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

WAAAAAAOOOOOOH We've got to lead the way!

Toondude10
June 12th 2014


11696 Comments


Well, considering the rather piss-poor averages for a few of their albums, I doubt I'll ever be interested in these guys,

Friday13th
June 12th 2014


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Toondude if you like TFK and Linkin Park this should be right up your alley. Not that I'm encouraging you haha it's not that great.

Toondude10
June 12th 2014


11696 Comments


well maybe, but I'm not too much into overall average bands like Staind and Seether (though their most recent song was good).

Friday13th
June 13th 2014


6160 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I get you. Yeah please don't mention those two ever again! It reminds me of my hopeless post-grunge searching days. Though I do have a fond memory of being introduced to "Careless Whisper" from Seether's cover.

Clifgard
June 13th 2014


26 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Toon, thank you - but I have a career, wife, and I'm an active CCM musician myself so I only get the chance to write reviews occasionally. Haha. But I'm glad you like my content - I read a lot of yours, too.



And if I had to recommend a Pillar album to you, it would be The Reckoning; at the very least I recommend the title track, "Tragedy," "Crossfire," and "Resolution." It's a little out of the ordinary for a radio-friendly hard rock band, and it's pretty good.

Toondude10
June 14th 2014


11696 Comments


@Fiday13th Well to be honest, Seether does have a couple of good songs and Staind's latest album was alright, but overall they are pretty meh.

@Clifgard Oh okay, I wasn't aware of that. Well good luck to you in the future.



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