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Album Review: Souvenir by Banner Pilot

US punks Banner Pilot released their fourth studio, Souvenir, in April. While AD may not be exactly hot off the presses with this album review (it had somehow sneaked up on us), it’s a storming punk album well worth your attention.

Punk music seems to be having a renaissance in 2014, there was a time when the punk scene had gone a little stale. Fortunately with the aid of superb albums from The Menzingers, PUP and now Banner Pilot everything is brighter in the punk garden.

Banner Pilot tread that fine line between punk and pop punk. The vocals are a tad too harsh to pigeon hole them in the pop punk bracket, while the harmonies and hooks remind you of Bad Religion or (an old school) Offspring. The guitars are crunchy and full off big hooks, take ‘Shoreline’ as the perfect example of the band mixing the harmonies and hooks of pop punk with the harsher principles of punk.

Souvenir is crammed with catchy songs; they ingrain themselves instantly and linger there for several hours later. Album opener ‘Modern Shakes’ is a fantastic punchy number, brimming with energy. From this early stage it is evident that Banner Pilots can take the obvious influences such as Jawbreaker and The Replacements and mould the sound into something more complex and unbelievably enjoyable.

‘Dead Tracks’ and ‘Heat Rash’ are superb poppy numbers, as to be expected by this stage the melodies are well honed and the hooks are fantastic. ‘Colfax’ and album closer ‘Summer Ash’ are fine examples of the band’s signature introspective lyrics, again the hooks sucker you in and you find it impossible not to move along.

The energy contained within the 12 tracks on Souvenir is fantastic. Each song is instantaneously enjoyable and well produced. On the flip side Souvenir isn’t breaking any barriers, it’s not a new sound and let’s be honest Banner Pilot have stuck pretty closer to the punk formula. By sticking to that formula, the band has produced a fine album and probably their best to date.

AD rating 7/10


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