REVIEW: Banner Pilot – Heart Beats Pacific

Artist: Banner Pilot
Album: Heart Beats Pacific
Genre: Punk
Label: Fat Wreck Chords

There have only been two things that I can consider to be unfaltering passions of mine, two things that have defined my life since I can remember: music, and cars and motorcycles. I remember being about 5 years old, listening to Led Zeppelin, riding in my dad’s 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo; that one moment pretty much defined the rest of my life. Coincidentally enough, the music industry and the automotive industry are both at a major crossroads, the music industry has to acknowledge that the internet has changed everything, and nearly all the standard practices have to be rewritten, and the automotive industry is responding to stricter emissions regulations to help combat global warming.

Both of these issues are going to change these industries forever, but from what I’ve noticed, the music industry is responding with trial and error, and growing desperation, but the automotive industry is having fun with it, for whatever reason, manufacturers are still in a horsepower war, releasing sedans with nearly 600 horsepower; and sub-4 second 0-60 times, that still get 30 mpg, and I absolutely love that. I love how they’re facing this monumental change with a sense of humor, and I think it’s about time the music industry started taking cues from this mindset. Luckily, there are still bands out there that think this is the way music should work, and a perfect example of this increasing rare sense of fun in music can be heard on Heart Beats Pacific, the new album from midwestern pop-punk band, Banner Pilot. Though these guys have been around for a reasonable amount of time, but despite the sense of impending disaster that has affected the morale of so many bands throughout the industry has not been able to dishearten Banner Pilot, and really, that’s just the sort of attitude the music industry needs these days.

I’ll be the first to admit that this style of punk is certainly not anything new, nor is anything that Banner Pilot is releasing going to revolutionize the genre – to be honest, no pop punk band has really done that in the past decade – but that’s fine, that isn’t the point, really. This style of midwestern punk isn’t about technique and pushing the envelope. And Banner Pilot aren’t exactly newcomers to this scene, their fans know that their music isn’t about experimentation and subtle stylistic cues, and their detractors will always be around to point that out. Heart Beats Pacific, much like Banner Pilot’s old releases, is just an honest collection of upbeat, fun, and passionate pop punk songs. Some people get it, some don’t, simple as that, and if you fit in the former group, this album won’t disappoint. To be honest, a lot of these songs blend together fairly easily, but nonetheless, each song is full of energy, and despite the interchangeability of some of these songs, Heart Beats Pacific never gets boring. On top of that, the album is still packed with standout tracks like “Alchemy”, which will never get old; and believe me, I’ve tested this theory out quite thoroughly. Heart Beats Pacific might not be entirely flawless, but really, it only adds to the charm.

Bands like Banner Pilot are just what the music industry needs at this volatile point in it’s history, bands that are less concerned with how many “likes” they have on their Facebook page, and care more about writing some music they enjoy, and remembering that in the end, they’re doing all this because they love it. They are the musical equivalent of an Aston Martin, it doesn’t need a V12 engine that returns only 12 mpg, it could have a better SatNav, it could be more reliable; in short, they could be a lot more practical and conservative, but thankfully they refuse to take that route. They have principles, and for reasons that are mostly superficial and silly, they stick to them until the bitter end. And that’s the same mantra followed by bands like Banner Pilot, and you can feel that passion and fun radiating through every single track on Heart Beats Pacific, and that’s what music is really about, that’s what I want to be listening to, I want my music to be fun, not just a product of a Facebook marketing campaign, and if punk really is still alive, that’s what it’s about.

SCORE: 8/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell
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2 Responses to “REVIEW: Banner Pilot – Heart Beats Pacific”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well said sir…I agree completely.

  2. Varun90 Iitr says:

    Great review.Album is very good and this song “Division Street” is brilliant!