United By Fate
I'll admit, I'm pretty late to the whole Rival Schools party; in hindsight it seems almost like sacrilige that a band so close to the bands I like the most should have so wholly and totally missed my attention, but ho hum, there it is. Anyway, a lot of words have presumably been penned about this record at one point or another, and I have no desire to add a huge number more to them. What I will say is that if you're into any number of vaguely interesting or experimental bands that namecheck post-hardcore bands from the late 90s, you'll probably love Rival Schools. Except of course you already know this; it's only me that's late to the party.
So, Travel by Telephone, the opener is a brilliant trainwreck of rock attitude and pop melodies, a theme that extends to oft-checked highlight High Acetate. Used for Glue is very much at the other end of the Rival Schools spectrum; heavy and emphatic, it's probably the sort of track that inspired so many emo bands to list them as a reference (and probably help towards me not checking them out at the time). That said though, I actually kind of prefer that full-tilt sound. Tracks like Good Things may have a seductive groove and an attractive post-grunge single chorus, but in truth when I want that I'll go to Silverchair instead, thanks.
Right then, Rival Schools. Get a copy, introduce yourself to the four named tracks above and then delve deeper if you like; I'll post a review of their long-awaited follow-up Pedals on here soon.