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Banner Pilot-Pass the Poison

Band Name: Banner Pilot
Album Name: Pass the Poison
Best Element: Staying true to punk

Genre: Punk/Punk/Punk

Label Name: Arsenic Records
Band E-mail:

Banner Pilot is punk rock. If that sentence doesn’t convince you, just check out their EP [u]Pass the Poison[/u] that features seven blistering tracks of punk rock goodness. We’re not talking Blink-182 or Green Day girly punk, either. With rough and gruff vocals by vocalist Nick, guitarist Mike and guitarist/bassist Nate throw down a constant stream of eighth notes and grungy chords while Danny slaps out a constant fast-paced drum beat.

The album kicks off with “Bender”, a so-so tune that quiets at the end and goes directly into “Uptown Sleep Solution.” While both songs have their fine points, I didn’t even know that the song had changed until I checked the track listing, as they are extremely similar in style/sound/rhythm.

“Sunbelt Scars” comes in a little more distinguished and provides the opportunity for Danny to toss out the cliché punk snare and keep the song at warp speed. A cool chord progression and vocal mixing makes this song one of the better ones on the EP.

Nate kicks off the next tune with a bass intro and takes “Portland Lights” into a more modern punk sound, straying away from the rawness of the first two tunes. “Wide Awake” starts off and makes the listener wonder if the guitars are in tune for a second before blasting into straight up punk again. The song outros into the next, which would have been awesome if the song wasn’t only 1:28 long.

Background vocals are prominent in “Columbia Lows” with many “oh’s” throughout the song- even a few guitar interludes found their way onto this track.

The last listed song on the EP starts off with a radio broadcast that is a nice effect, but due to the shortness of the songs on this album it cuts too much into Banner Pilot’s time. A cool guitar lead turns into a well done old school punk yet melodic song. “River City Blackout” is probably the most pleasant to listen to on the album while still maintaining basic punk roots and adding the modern lead guitar lines of today’s punk.

“Ever Fallen in Love” is the most modern punk sounding track on the album and closes it out the EP.

Overall, Banner Pilot stays true to their claim as punk rockers. They play punk and they play it well. While each song is cool in its own respect as a punk rock song, many of them sound the same with straight up eighth-notes of chords blending into one another while the drums go crazy. A little variety, however, would be nice.

Clocking in at a little over 17 minutes, [u]Pass the Poison[/u] is a nice buy for any diehard punk in the Minneapolis area who is looking for a little time to go crazy.

-Erik Williams-