Rival Schools – Pedals









For Fans Of

Sunny Day Real Estate - Foo Fighters


Returning in fine fashion.


90 / 100

This is one band I didn’t think we would see another release from, but am certainly glad we did. Rival Schools debut album ‘United By Fate was released in 2001 and is known as one of the classics in the post-hardcore timeline. The group shockingly went on hiatus after the record’s release and as time passed fans gave up hope. After all how were they to know that the next album would arrive ten years later? Luckily it has, and ‘Pedals,’ picks up where the debut left off supplying the world with some much needed, quality rock music.

Opening track Wring It Out begins like a hit for a junkie, front man Walter Schrifels croaky vocal hooks combine with bright yet full sounding guitar tones and instantly it is obvious that this band still has gas in the tank and something to offer. The production of the debut was fantastic and the band has maintained that same level of excellence. Many have tried to imitate Rival Schools but none can quite match the original.

The best thing about this record is easily the choruses, as they are big. 69 Guns and Eyes Wide Open keep the verse sections spacious and mellow so as to amplify the effect of their catchy chorus lines that open up like an explosion. There are influences from Schrifels’ former band Quicksand that can be found in songs such as Choose Your Own Adventure, which have a heavier edge than the other pop toned tracks. The most emotional moment can be found in Racing The Red Lights, a soulful number that shows how the band have matured musically in their long break.

The record ends with The Ghost Is Out There, another heavier toned track that manages to combining the band’s new maturity with everything that makes them unique, like an appropriately placed summary of their career so far.


After listening to this record, it won’t feel like there has been such a gap between the two releases. Rather than being some sort of reunion for the sake of cash flow, ‘Pedals’ is the next logical step for the band after ‘United By Fate,’ and shows that these guys can still make great music, the type that influences and inspires others.


1. Wring It Out
2. 69 Guns
3. Eyes Wide Open
4. Choose Your Adventure
5. Racing to Red Lights
6. Shot After Shot
7. A Parts for B Actors
8. Big Waves
9. Small Doses
10. The Ghost Is Out There

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