PARTIAL TRACES – GLASS BEACH
First full length by Partial Traces. Man, we crammed a lot of hours into a 5 day recording session for this one! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out; we’re still figuring out our sound a little bit but I like the tunes here and it was fun to record some instruments we don’t usually get to use. You know, weird ones like “piano.”
BANNER PILOT – SOUVENIR
Banner Pilot‘s fourth full length album. A bit slower, a bit more varied, a little less overtly punk. Whether that’s a good thing or a lame thing or a comically irrelevant thing depends on what you like, I guess. Personally I think it’s the best or second best thing we’ve done but I am fully aware people always have a bias towards the most recent thing they’ve done. So check back after the next album comes out and maybe I’ll totally be trashing this one.
GATEWAY DISTRICT – PARTIAL TRACES
If you compare this to the early Gateway stuff it’s quite a bit different; slower and a little more melodic. That might sound “weak and lame” or what have you, but I assure this is a pretty good record. The slightly more indie rock direction was part of the inspiration for starting the band Partial Traces a bit later.
BANNER PILOT – HEART BEATS PACIFIC
Banner Pilot‘s third full length, released in 2011. Personal verdict: 4 of our best songs, 3 or so other good songs, and some filler… mild filler, i.e. not completely phoned-in garbage, but still. Which 4 songs am I referring to? You’ll have to listen to the entire thing and guess!
BANNER PILOT – COLLAPSER
Banner Pilot‘s second full length and first on Fat Wreck. I think we definitely hit our stride on this one and the songs have more variety to them than the previous stuff. Maybe our best album and a good place to start.
GATEWAY DISTRICT – PERFECT’S GONNA FAIL
The second Gateway District album. I think this one has more emphasis on pop than the first one and is a little less raw. Some of our songs that are the most fun to play live are on this record.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS – IN DESOLATION
The last album I did with OWTH and the first one they put out on Epitaph. Most of the earlier recordings were quick and scrappy so it was an interesting experience having a month or whatever it was to put this one together. I think it turned out great.
GATEWAY DISTRICT – SOME DAYS YOU GET THE THUNDER
The first Gateway District album. Scrappy, fast and kind of raw. I think we recorded this in 4 days or something which looking back seems insane. We probably tried to cram too much into this one, but it’s got some of my favorite songs.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS – FROM THE BOTTOM
I think we (i.e., everyone but Ryan, or maybe just Zack and I) learned the music for this album literally three days before we went into the studio. On a couple of the songs I had literally no idea what the vocals would end up doing, and just hoped my bass lines wouldn’t step on them. And yet, it turned out great! Maybe my favorite OWTH record.
BANNER PILOT – RESIGNATION DAY
Banner Pilot’s first full length. Have to say I don’t think this one holds up that well. The songs blur together and nothing really stands out. If you’re a super fan of the “gruff Midwest melodic punk” sub genre you might dig it but I think we got a lot better and more interesting on the later albums. I’m quite the salesman over here! One note: we remixed and remastered this a couple years after the original release, and added in 2 songs from a split we did with the band Monikers. That’s the version available now.
THE PYONGYANG METRO – TOWER OF WHITE TIGERS
Recorded in two days. A fun band and a fun record. Some of these songs are ridiculous (in a good way, I think). We recorded this in two days, believe it or not. The only backup vocals I’ve ever done are (appropriately) buried on one of these songs. Check out the album on Bandcamp here
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS – HOSPITALS
Not sure if this is long enough to qualify as an album, but this was the first “bigger” release for OWTH. I think this was when Ryan really hit his stride in songwriting. A really solid release. I like how my bass sounds on this one, even though I didn’t even use an amp and just ran it through a pedal or something.
BANNER PILOT – PASS THE POISON
Banner Pilot‘s first release, a 7 song EP (originally 8 songs but we quickly became embarrassed by the Buzzcocks cover and removed it from later versions.) This feels almost like a different band… the songs are super raw and fast, almost comically so. In my opinion it’s nowhere near as good as our later stuff but it’s a fun and goofy record in its own way. We didn’t even use *guitar amps* on this, recording everything through those POD things. Not sure if they still even exist but I’m glad it’s not super obvious and dated at this point (I think?) If you like really fast, almost hardcore punk music you actually might dig this more than our later stuff.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS – ALL THINGS MOVE TOWARD THEIR END
A collection of early OWTH singles and EPs and stuff. I can’t say all of these recordings are sonically the sweetest thing you’ll ever hear but the songwriting is still great and the strong melodies punch through. Some really catchy songs here. The REALLY early OWTH stuff is basically a different band; complicated indie rock with an organ and stuff. I remember the first time I played a show with them was back then and I was totally unprepared for some of those song structures, thinking I was walking into a three chord pop punk band. Taken together, this album is a cool look into how the band evolved over those first 2-3 years.
RIVETHEAD – THE CHEAP WINE OF YOUTH
The second and final thing Rivethead ever did. A much stronger record than the first one– I think there are some good tunes on here. Long out of print and not available on any streaming sites. But people have thrown all of the songs on YouTube. One is embedded below; if you search around you can find the other ones.
RIVETHEAD – CITY SOUND NUMBER FIVE
A six song EP, this was the first thing Rivethead ever released. We were all 19, 20 years old at the time so it’s appropriately raw and fast and all that. I think it holds up pretty well though! I wish we hadn’t included all the samples, but oh well. This record is long out of print and isn’t on any of the streaming sites, but it looks like some enterprising soul threw the whole thing on YouTube, so you can enjoy that below.