Banner Pilot is a punk band from Minneapolis, MN. Midwestern punk bands always have a place in my heart, and add these guys to the list. They remind me a lot of The Lawrence Arms (Chicago), with raw vocals and music that doesn’t let up. This is their third full length release, the others being Resignation (2008) and Collapser (2009).
The first thing I noticed about Heart Beats Pacific was that this was a Banner Pilot album. The knock I’ve always given this band is that all of their songs sound the same. There are no surprises here… if you dug their previous releases you’ll like this. If you never liked them before, this won’t change your mind about them. The production does sound noticeably better on here though and the vocals sound a lot more polished. However, the bass is very distracting in nearly every song… either they cranked the volume or something, but I wish it wasn’t so obvious.
The songs are all fairly simple, which I guess is what this kind of punk rock is all about. I always would call bands like this “Power Chord Punk”. On first listen, “Spanish Reds” is my favorite because the melody sticks out a lot more than most tracks on this record. “Isolani” has somewhat of a “haunting” feel in the beginning, reminding me a lot of something Alkaline Trio would have written in like 1999. The last song, “Division Street” clocks in at a whopping 5:05… roughly double the length of your average Banner Pilot song. It ultimately winds up being one of my favorite tracks. There are no ballads, nothing acoustic, just very straightforward punk songs. It lacks any major standouts though, unlike Resignation Day, an album that has a few tracks that I’ve overplayed to death (“Overwinter” and “Cut Bait“).
Like I’ve said, you’ve heard one Banner Pilot song, you’ve heard them all. But they pull it off really well.
Listen to “Spanish Reds”: