Rival Schools

Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing

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The first release from the post-hardcore supergroup Rival Schools takes the former members of Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, CIV, Burn, Iceburn, and more and merges their style on a collaborative EP with emo mainstay and former Far frontman Jonah Matranga. The bulk of the six-song EP is still pure Rival Schools, with Matranga lending his pained Radiohead-style vocals on no more than two of the tracks. The instant highlight of the record is the dynamic and hard-rocking "Take One for the Team," a track that is as catchy as it is rough, and it certainly represents a step forward into more straightforward music for all of the members, though the music still isn't exactly mainstream fodder. The country-tinged "Where I'm From" is quite an unexpected treat, with singer Walter Schreifels handing in his usually scorching vocals for an out-of-character but fully believable and melodic tribute to his hometown. The concept of the record is a fine idea, but Rival Schools are a much more ferocious band by themselves and walk away with all of the best songs on the record. Still, their songs are pretty worthwhile and the EP makes a great companion to their incredibly amped-up debut LP.

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