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.”
The album does exactly as the band set out, it sounds both similar and yet different to the Banner Pilot sound that you expect and it is clear that these boys have set out to do a job. Album stand outs include upbeat opening tracks Modern Shakes and Effigy, as well as Colfax. The band are heavily influenced by bands such as Jawbreaker and The Lawrence Arms, whilst also having a sound similar to a more serious Bowling for Soup.
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.
Souvenir is out now on Fat Wreck Chords (https://www.fatwreck.com/record/detail/925), and the band are touring the US throughout May with plans to tour again later in the year.