BANNER PILOT: Heart Beats Pacific: CD

Jan 19, 2012

I have a lot of respect for Banner Pilot. I’m a big fan of Resignation Day. They were fuckin’ great when I saw them live. They’re melodic Midwestern punk that’s sharing the expansive post-Rivethead legacy of bands like Dear Landlord. But, I can’t recommend this record. It totally fuckin’ pains me. Nick’s voice is Autotuned to death. It sounds like it’s a robot programmed to empty a fourteen-year-old-girl’s bank account. (Basically, there’s my definition of modern pop music.) And Nick’s voice is—Bad Religion-style—boosted on the top of the entire mix. I so don’t want to be a dick, but it gets more confusing. The dudes in the room are dudes who I also admire. The mixer, Jacques Wait, recorded a lion’s share of The Soviettes. The masterer, Dave Gardner, has worked with John Reis, D4, and Lifter Puller. I just wonder where the Midwestern rust is. Where the broken glass is. Where the frozen windshield and so-cold-the-engine-barely cranks-over is. Where the sound of desperation-to-match-the-lyrics-and-live-execution is. Where’s the Steinbeck-in-sound? It’s not in the mix, and I’ve got to assume that this record’s not made with folks like me in mind. Not to be selfish, but that’s a bummer… the instruments are recorded exceptionally well. Fuck, it feels like I’m sending hate mail to myself with this review.

 –todd (Fat)