Washington based band RVIVR’s 2013 album The Beauty Between was one of my favourite releases of the last year. It has been on regular rotation on my stereo ever since with particular highlights from the album being Spider Song and One Way/Wrong way. I also had the pleasure of seeing them live at the Black Heart in Camden last year where they put on a fantastic show. When I saw they were returning to England to play at The Montague Arms in October I excitedly brought a ticket straight away expecting them to sell out quickly. Before that tour they release their new EP Bicker and Breathe. Here is my review of it.
Bicker and Breathe starts off with the song 20 Below. From the get go this feels like a classic RVIVR song with Matt and Erica’s dual vocals setting them apart from their contemporaries. The song has the same qualities I loved in One Way/Wrong Way, the fast paced guitars and pounding drum beat combined with some excellent vocals and a extremely catchy chorus make this song stand out straight away. With Matt taking the first verse and Erica the second helps keep the song interesting and it flies by, it really doesn’t feel like a 4 minutes and 37 seconds long song. This is a very strong start to the EP.
Erica Freas (who I had the pleasure of seeing solo in July, read about it here) takes the lead on the second song – Goodbyes. This up-tempo song suits Erica’s raspy voice brilliantly, I think she has one of my favourite voices in the world of punk rock. The song is obviously about saying goodbye to your loved ones and how difficult it can be. The lyrics which stand out most to me in the song are “it’s enough to keep us home, cuz with the radio on it’s like we’re never alone, how to keep all our insides inside? We don’t wanna get good at goodbyes.”
Matt Canino takes his turn at lead vocals In Waves. This is a slower paced song where Canino sings about how even the strongest people can be vulnerable at times. I’m really looking forward to hearing this song played live, especially the final part of the song. The lyrics “I know that something’s got to give, nobody taught you how to live” accompanied by some “oh-ohs” is delivered in a perfect way for a huge sing along.
The fourth song The Sound is another song played at a slower pace. Erica’s voice again stands out and gives the song more of a poppy feel. I can see this song getting a great reaction live with its catchy melody and chorus.
The EP picks up speed with its final song Bicker/Breathe. Kevin Rainsburys drums drive the song forward whilst stand in bass player Chris Bauermeister (most American surname ever?) from legendary punk band Jawbreaker lays down some excellent lines. The fantastic dual vocals come into full force hear as Erica expertly harmonises with Matt to give the song another dimension. The song itself is about earning everything that you want in life and you not being owed anything. A great message for today’s young people who might expect to get everything in life handed to them on a plate.
This is a fantastic effort from RVIVR, picking up exactly where The Beauty Between left us and living me salivating for their next full length.
Stream and buy Bicker and Breathe here: https://rvivr.bandcamp.com/
Here are some details for their London gig: https://www.facebook.com/events/537861393027130/
Now listening to: The Seam by RVIVR