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RVIVR: "The Beauty Between"

A post-Jawbreaker, emocore sound

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Since its arrival in Olympia, RVIVR has been the most solid performing, pop-punk band the area has seen in a decade. With a fanbase that is equally large throughout the country and Europe, RVIVR has captured the ears of a generation of listeners who have become musically tuned in post Jawbreaker.

RVIVR's latest, and most ambitious, album, The Beauty Between, jumps out at the listener as a sonic leap forward from its debut full-length. "The Seam" and "LMD" hit you with a bigger, filled out production than has an immediacy to it previous RVIVR records lacked. Duel vocals float over a robust sound that still relies heavily on well-worn pop-punk tropes, but informed by the same kind of Springsteen-esque epic rock that has made a band such as Gaslight Anthem nearly a household name.

It is all too apparent when listening to a song like "Old Dogs" that RVIVR is in charge of the post-Jawbreaker, emocore sound. It should be noted Mattie Canino has collaborated with former Jawbreaker bassist Chris Bauermister. However, what sets RVIVR apart from is contemporary Jawbreaker disciples is an almost complete lack of the slapdash, homemade sound that dominates the current state of the genre, as well as exhibited in RVIVR's previous work.

While elements of The Beauty Between are not entirely original, and the band plays in a genre that in many ways may have become stagnate, RVIVR filters the cliché through its own lens - creating a piece of work that transcends the well worn roads similar acts follow - as in the tasteful saxophone work on "Big Lie" and "The Hunger Suite I." With several interesting intros and outros, The Beauty Between flows with remarkable continuity.

Vocally, the album is very singular; rarely does the vocals reach beyond the by-the-numbers style of the band's past. That said, when Canino and Eric Freas break from their typical approach, such as the Neil Young and Crazy Horse-esque "The Hunger Suite I," RVIVR proves it has created something special and unique.

It should be said, and I hope people read this know I am not speaking from a point of hyperbole, that The Beauty Between is every bit as good as masterworks of its genre. It is every bit as good as 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, or Promise Ring's Very Emergency.

With an album as epic as The Beauty Between, RVIVR stands at a crossroads
between maintaining their close-knit scene ties and a grander stage. Surely
they will attract a new and wider-reaching audience with the album. However,
RVIVR is a particular kind of band, with a particular set of values - a
wider audience might not be attracted to the band's singular voice. Now,
only time will tell.

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