Ten years is a long time to wait for a sophomore album. I won’t get into why it took so long or what happened in-between here. Here, we’re just gonna see if Pedals was worth the wait.
Opening with “Wring it Out”, it sounds as if Walter Schreifels and Rival Schools haven’t missed a beat since United By Fate came out in 2001. There’s a solid bounce right off the bat laid down by Sam Siegler (drums) and Cache Tolman (bass). Things just get better from there. “69 Guns” opens with a shimmering guitar line undercut with a steady melody courtesy of Schreifels and Ian Love while “Eyes Wide Open” is a throwback to United…“Shot After Shot” is another one that comes to mind when talking about their debut.
“A Parts for B Actors” is probably my favorite so far. There’s a guitar solo at the end that reminds me so much of Failure and the flow and build of the song is just perfect. With only one song breaching the four-minute mark, Pedals is structured to grab your attention and keep it with short, concise songs that encompass the Rival Schools sound.
United By Fate (And Slip for that matter) is an album that will forever reside in my Top 20. The thing I loved about United by Fate was the urgency and immediacy behind the music. While I feel Pedals doesn’t have the same commanding presence that its’ predecessor does, it’s still a really solid album and very much worth the wait.
Here’s hoping album number three doesn’t take as long to come out.