Screw all that wistful emo crap. The New Rivals are slinging pure aggressive, hard-rocking punk, and hurling beers at the tears of anyone whoï¿½s not along for the fast-paced ride.
Whether waking up in a strange hotel room flanked by two ladies or getting lost in a strange town and nearly missing a festival appearance, this Long Island-bred quintet is having more fun than, well, just about any other band out there, and it shows in the hyper-energetic rhythms, raw and ragged riffs, and impassioned vocals on their brand new EP, Fire for Effect, and their forthcoming eponymous debut.
ï¿½It doesnï¿½t matter what weï¿½re doing, weï¿½re always having a great time,ï¿½ says mohawked frontman Toby Bevis. ï¿½It keeps us eternally young.ï¿½
Youthful energy is something this band of childhood buddies knows more than a thing or two about. The New Rivals owe their cohesive sound and enviable camaraderie to years of playing, practicing and honing their sound together.
ï¿½We have all been friends since middle school,ï¿½ Bevis recalled. ï¿½Me, and guitarists Johnny [ Hudson ] and Kenny [Andersen] just one day decided we were going to start a band.ï¿½ Adding bassist Tito McElvoy and drummer Joe Morrione to the mix, the band began to unearth its own brand of impossibly powerful, literate punk rock.
Fire for Effect, the EP thatï¿½s building anticipation for the bandï¿½s forthcoming full-length debut, is a four-song punk rock assault, brimming with electric energy that will leave listeners aching for more.
Opener ï¿½Hell is for Heroes,ï¿½ highlights Bevisï¿½ impassioned vocals, unleashing subtly self-deprecating lyrical punches like: ï¿½Think with your head and not with your pistol / The rain isnï¿½t hard itï¿½s only a drizzle / I spit in the wind and Iï¿½m wet on the face / and Iï¿½m always the last one leading the race.ï¿½
ï¿½Mudslingingï¿½ is pure hyper energy. ï¿½Itï¿½s the ï¿½get off your ass and moveï¿½ song,ï¿½ Hudson says of the track. ï¿½Itï¿½s balls-to-the-wall.ï¿½ Next up is the ska-inspired ï¿½Hold Your Head,ï¿½ one of the first songs the band ever wrote, which bounces and bounds out of the speakers with irresistibly danceable beats.
ï¿½Head to the Ceilingï¿½ is the only track on the EP that doesnï¿½t find its way to the full-length. A straight-up rock nï¿½ roll tune, led by a dark and dancey bass line, this track begs to be cranked to 11 in downtown dive bars.
Ready for more? Good, because youï¿½ll need to call on your energy reserves for the unrelenting, 12-track full-length, beginning with dynamic opener ï¿½Sell Your Soul.ï¿½
Bevis credits Hudson with inspiring the hook-laden ï¿½Lexican Munch.ï¿½ ï¿½Johnny likes to have fun with the women,ï¿½ Bevis explained cryptically of the song that pairs peppy pop beats with melancholy lyrics about drunk musings on loneliness (ï¿½You were my lifeline, now nobodyï¿½s callingï¿½).
ï¿½Joeï¿½s Song,ï¿½ which Bevis wrote about the passing of his mother, places the spotlight squarely on Morrioneï¿½s percussion, with drums that crescendo to an emotional chorus. ï¿½I wrote the song years ago but couldnï¿½t get it to come together until Joe joined the band.ï¿½
Ready for a ballad? Yeah, neither are the New Rivals. Maybe thatï¿½s why the closest youï¿½re going to get to one here is ï¿½Slow Song,ï¿½ which the band insists they wrote because they needed one mellower track, or ï¿½A Love Songï¿½ which ï¿½is just about making fun of love songs,ï¿½ Hudson says.
The New Rivals canï¿½t resist a good hook and canï¿½t wait to share their infectious enthusiasm with listeners across the globe. Having fun yet? The New Rivals are having a blast. Are you coming along for the ride?