Minnesota punk band Banner Pilot released its strongest effort to date with its fourth studio album “Souvenir” through Fat Wreck Chords on April 15.
Banner Pilot said its influences come from bands such as Jawbreaker and Hot Water Music, and this album shows these influences well.
I haven’t been a Banner Pilot fan for long.
I first heard of the band about a month ago with its 2011 album “Heart Beats Pacific” release.
From the first time I heard “Spanish Reds” on that album, I was hooked and it piqued my interest to check out more stuff by Banner Pilot.
Luckily, “Souvenir” came out this month and I got to listen to new music that few have heard.
Because I usually have to listen to an album a couple of times to get the full effect, it took time to get to where I felt like “Souvenir” is better than “Heart Beats Pacific.”
After listening to the album, it’s hard to place a favorite track.
Everything flows so well together on this album that I will have to listen to it more to get a song that definitively sticks out to me.
The album’s first single, “Modern Shakes,” was released on March 5 and is the perfect introduction song to the album.
“Modern Shakes” is not an overpowering song, but it gives a feel of what “Souvenir” is going to be like.
The album’s second single “Effigy,” was released April 14, which I found very unusual.
Most bands release singles a month or two in advance of the new album, but Banner Pilot decided to release “Effigy” the day before.
One song I found myself listening to a lot on the first couple of rounds was the album’s seventh track, “Shoreline.”
The song is not overpowering and not the fastest song from “Souvenir,” but it is one of the more catchy songs on the album.
I love the way the guitarist plays the chord progressions throughout the song.
I found this song has a similar chord progression to Jawbreaker’s “Ache” until coming into its own, which could be Banner Pilot paying homage to one of its biggest influences.
Like other punk music, Banner Pilot uses broken hearts and relationships themes, but the way lead singer Nick Johnson presents it makes the album unique from other punk bands.
This album is catchy and is reminiscent of punk music from the late 1990s and early 2000s, with bands such as Blink 182 and Sum 41.
Unfortunately, punk music has almost been pushed aside and is not as popular as it once was, so Banner Pilot might not reach the heights Blink 182 and Sum 41 have.
However, the band can and probably will rise within the punk genre.
If one is into punk music or music surrounding that genre, I highly recommend this album.
The way this album flows together is unbelievable.
I wouldn’t call it the best album I’ve heard, but it’s one of the stronger albums I’ve heard this year.
“Souvenir” runs for 38 minutes and 52 seconds and can be purchased in the Google Play Store for $9.49 and on iTunes for $9.99.