BANNER PILOT: Heart Beats Pacific:: LP

Jan 19, 2012

You know how life’s problems and life’s habits can seem a burden? A routine to get through while hoping for something else? You can get lost and found in such struggles. Banner Pilot has that rare ability to give the dramas of life meaning, like a great American novel unfolding on a daily basis. It fills the mundane with meaning, it restores a sense of pride and grandeur in everyday people struggles. Springsteen comes to mind, not musically, but in his ability to write something epic within a three minute-plus rock song that touches the heart of modern life. For me, Banner Pilot take up such efforts, presenting them in the form of Midwest punk gems, full of drive, emotion and tied to a clear sense of time and space, but instantly relatable. Just as we all got a sense of New Jersey thanks to Springsteen, Nick Johnson’s lyrics and the band’s grounding in the area’s punk sound instantly convey an understanding of Minneapolis life. The songs not only convey the immediate themes of love lost and love found, of searching for something more, of hope, it paints a portrait of the place. These portraits don’t just set a scene; they provide contrast to the human emotions at play. It elevates them—as in a world of cold snow and neon signs—they’re the only things that are real, that have life. Making what seems everyday, vital; what seems normal, important for living; important as it is the only thing that really matters. Like all Banner Pilot albums, it is emotive, and, in a way, fist-pumpingly defiant. Defiant, not in the sense of an outward rebellion, but of perseverance, of keeping going even when everything seems bleak. At least these are the emotions that it stirs in me. It has that amazing quality of making one feel not so alone in this world. It’s that spark that you try and hold on to for dear life, that forms bonds of fandom and love for the music, no matter where we are in the world. Amazing. –Justin George

 –guest (Fat Wreck Chords)