Saturday, January 23, 2016

Student Rick: Soundtrack for a Generation [2001] — Album Review

Adam Reiter: Vocals, Guitar
Brett Jones: Vocals, Guitar
Jason Pavilanis: Bass
Zach Davis: Drums
Produced by Bill Stevenson

1. Monday Morning – 2:43
2. Hideaway – 3:44
3. Falling for You – 2:51
4. Please Forgive Me – 3:54
5. I Wish... – 4:05
6. A Child's Cry – 4:30
7. Meet You Halfway There – 1:59
8. Yesterday – 3:34
9. South of Blackford – 5:09
10. Through the Window – 3:32
11. In the Cold – 3:09
12. Midway – 4:07
13. October Skies – 10:58
October Skies – 4:23
[silence] – 3:44
Jewel – 2:51
Total Runtime: 54:13

Student Rick never got the chance to be the band they had the potential to be. Victory Records barely advertised Soundtrack, and the band broke up after only one album. Adam Reiter has had a few bands since, none of which have gotten very far, unfortunately, but Say Say seems pretty promising. As for what happened to Brett, Jason, and Zach, they've faded out. Brett still lives in Student Rick's hometown of South Bend, Indiana, and as for the other two, they might as well not exist. Finding info about this band without having a primary source (my best friend is friends with Reiter on Facebook) is nearly impossible.
Student Rick was signed to Victory at a time when Victory didn't have many "softer" rock bands like Student Rick's perfect emo/pop-punk blend. Taking Back Sunday wouldn't come around for another year and Thursday was in the process of getting Full Collapse out the door. Speaking of Thursday, just about the biggest promotion for Soundtrack for a Generation was a 4-track CD split with Thursday, including "Falling for You" and "October Skies" by SR and "Cross Out the Eyes" and "Standing on the Edge of Summer" by Thursday. Which is hard to come by, I might add.
Probably the strangest thing about Soundtrack is its fascination with records (like, vinyls). Now I love vinyls, but the weird thing is that Victory never pressed Soundtrack on vinyl. And it's not like Victory doesn't press albums on vinyl, Full Collapse was pressed on LP three times in its first two years on the market, and TBS's Tell All Your Friends was pressed on vinyl for release day. Soundtrack for a Generation celebrates its 15th anniversary next October (October 9th, 2016); I think Victory should finally give this album the love it deserves and press it on vinyl.
With a little vinyl crackle, the guitars of "Monday Morning" come in. As an opener, "Monday Morning" really does its job well. It sets the tone of the album quickly and it has some killer guitar riffs. And with a very nice sounding lead riff at the beginning, "Hideaway" shows us the lighter side of the album. While Student Rick can be emo, they can also be happy-ish. Yeah, it's still an emo track, but it's a happier side to it.
The lead single from the album, and the only one to get a music video (I would've loved to have seen a video for "In the Cold"), "Falling for You" probably sounds the least like the rest of the album. Musically, not lyrically. It's an awesome track and you'll never get it out of your head.
With a little help from The Descendants drummer Stephen Egerton on the opening guitar, "Yesterday" sticks out as one of the best songs on the album. And "Yesterday/Is gone away now/When we used to play/Is gone away now" are some of the best lyrics on the album.
Named after one of the streets in their hometown, "South of Blackford" is a solid entry on the album. The beginning of a four-song saga I made up in my head because they sound like they could be one four-part song ("South of Blackford", "Through the Window", "In the Cold", and "Midway"), "South of Blackford" is emotastic (I did not come up with that word myself).
In my opinion, the best song on the album is "In the Cold". "In the Cold" just has all the right parts: awesome guitar, great lyrics, great vocals, perfect drumming. It's just awesome.
"October Skies" is a really, really great song. It just is. It's, I'm gonna use the word again, emotastic. "Jewel" is also great, and another acoustic. It's short and sweet.
Overall, Soundtrack for a Generation is a hidden gem in Victory's catalog. And only because they screwed Student Rick over. Shame.

Monday Morning: 10/10
Hideaway: 8/10
Falling for You: 10/10
Please Forgive Me: 7/10
I Wish...: 9/10
A Child's Cry: 7/10
Meet You Halfway There: 7/10
Yesterday: 8/10
South of Blackford: 8/10
Through the Window: 9/10
In the Cold: 10/10
Midway: 8/10
October Skies: 9/10
Jewel: 7/10

Subtotal: 117/140
Bonus Points:
Killer Choruses: +2
Total: 119/140
Score: 8.5 Excellent

Genres: Emo, Pop-Punk, Alternative Rock

Last Review: War All the Time by Thursday
Next Review: Composure by Waking Ashland
Next Student Rick Review: Every Child Needs a Hero

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