Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
May 05, 2003
Amazon Disco:
United by Fate United by Fate
August 28, 2001
Island
Good Things Good Things
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United By Fate United By Fate
March 28, 2002
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Good Things Good Things
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Rival Schools
United By Fate

I originally became interested in RS because their name shared a less than stealthy resemblance to a cult capcom game, but quickly found their music to make that interest incidental. careful observation will note that these members are alumni of some of the most powerful bands on the rock, space rock, and power pop scenes: Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, CIV, and Hot Water Music are just a few on the bill. the resultant sound is something like a wonderful cacophony detailing these influences very well, a storybook of riffs and snares. RS just oozes with years and years of rarified musicianship that they can barely do anything wrong on the album and if they in fact do make a mistake it's more than likely mechanical failure on your part.

what's great about RS is the way they can transition from one mood to another without really losing their potency. from 'Undercovers On,' a mid-tempo song akin Shiner in their most dejected state, you get 'Used for Glue,' where Walter Schreifels's more Metal elements from Quicksilver emerge in fantastic form. surprisingly enough, their jagged sound doesn't become monotonous even though it's everywhere on the album. it's actually quite welcomed since it leaves what would normally sound like sappy love songs with a certain bluntness, as though no amount of studio gloss could glaze their sound. pick this one up.

Artist: Rival Schools
Album: United By Fate
Label: Island Records
Rating: 10/10

Release date: August 28, 2001
Label: Island
Rating: 9.0 / 10

[RMR]