Banner Pilot Souvenir on LP + Download
In all the years that mankind has been using the wheel, nobody has been able to effectively reinvent it - only to refine it - and that’s exactly the approach Banner Pilot took when writing and recording their new album Souvenir. “The idea was to do something that sounds different from previous stuff but not to overshoot: make sure it’s still recognizable as Banner Pilot record, but not totally out there,” says bassist Nate Gangelhoff. “On one hand, you don’t want people to say “You guys only do one thing,” but you also don’t want What are you idiots doing, you changed your sound! There’s a sweet spot in the middle, and we wanted to do what bands like Against Me! and Superchunk do, where it’s obviously still that same band but they’re always doing a few different things they didn’t do before.”
When their previous group Rivethead disbanded shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, Gangelhoff and singer/guitarist Nick Johnson started toying with drum machines and melodies, writing songs they confess were initially terrible. Their Midwestern work ethic made them keep plugging away, though, and eventually - along with a fleshed out band lineup - the two hit upon an eminently toe-tapping sound and introspective lyrical approach reminiscent of ‘90s post-hardcore greats from Jawbreaker to Knapsack to Samiam.
After several years of establishing themselves in the musical hotbed of Minneapolis and recording a debut album they describe as “kind of a mess,” they decided to step up their game and asked their friend Billy Morrisette of Dillinger Four if he could get their demos into the hands of the team at Fat Wreck Chords. With that punk rock imprimatur, and sensing the untapped potential shown in their songwriting, the label welcomed Banner Pilot to the fold starting with their splendid second album Collapser in 2009. Touring the States and Europe on that album, the band built a passionately devoted fan base and continued honing their craft, dropping the more refined Heart Beats Pacific in 2011.
With a warmer, more mature sound than their previous releases, and with recurring lyrical themes of reflecting on the past while looking to the light, Souvenir is a living document of a band approaching their ten year mark. When it came time to lay down the tracks for their latest opus, it was a no-brainer to re-team with Minneapolis homie Jacques Wait at their favorite studio The Terrarium (which features the sound board that recorded no less a masterpiece than Michael Jackson’s Bad). Continuing their sonic evolution, the band played around with some new chord stylings while simultaneously dialing back some of the production elements from their last release.
Banner Pilot Souvenir Track Listing:
1. Modern Shakes
3. Dead Tracks
4. Heat Rash
8. Hold Fast
12. Summer, Ash