As soon as the first epic chord twanged at the beginning of The Beauty Between, I knew Olympia punks RVIVR had reached a sweet spot. I was just starting to worry about the state of pop punk in 2013, too.
I'm a proud owner of a RVIVR patch and I've always been stoked to see the band when it stops in Missoula, but here's a dirty secret: I've never really dug RVIVR's recorded work. The band's energy never quite translated and the hooks started to grate on my ears after a few listens.
Beauty Between is different. Melodic, catchy, inspiringly fast and anthemic, while keeping a certain amount of grit, the album makes me want to tear off my jacket and jump into the nearest sweaty pit by the second song. The Latterman-esque gang vocals are great, but Erica Freas' gutsy voice steals the show. The album, which is available for donation-based download on Rumbletowne Records' site and comes out on vinyl and CD later this spring, proves that bands can hone their musical chops without succumbing to major-label sheen.
Seeing as RVIVR is no stranger to Montana, I've heard a fair amount of gossip about the band members' behavior. I don't give a damn. Let's get 'em back into town so I can sing along to this.