Olympia, Wash., churns out a particular breed of do-it-yourself bands. It's not that they all sound the same, it's that they all emit a certain feral raucousness, and Olympia's RVIVR is no exception. The band's new LP continues in the same vein with bright and stormy punk anthems and a hell-if-I-care attitude.
The strongest parts of the album happen when vocalists Matt Canino and Erica Freas aren't teaching people how to live their lives. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between. "Animal Hands," one of the worst offenders, has the band telling listeners that they should admit to their mistakes because everyone is just "a man, an animal with hands." True, I guess, but that's a self-help idea best left on the discount shelf.
I'd much rather listen to "Rain Down," which is almost all instrumental. Or "Edge of Living," which urges people to make an escape before the drudgery of life kills them. That's also naïve sounding, I suppose, but it's delivered more like a real plea than a sermon, and I can get behind that. The real charm of the album is Freas' beautiful raspy vocals. Just don't listen to the lyrics too hard. You'll be disappointed.