If you read anything written about Rival Schools, you’ll see them defined as post-hardcore. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but that’s a bunch of bullshit. In the broadest definition of time, it’s technically true in that it did, in fact, come after the members of Rival Schools played in hardcore bands. But if we’re really going to use something so generic as a rubric, than everything that has happened in the past four decades is really just post-Beatles.
Sure, at one point in time Walter Schreifels was veganizing hardcore fans everywhere with Gorilla Biscuits, but if that was his Jenna Jameson phase than Rival Schools is his insert-softcore-porn-star-here Showtime spotlight moment. Don’t mistake my unwillingness to classify them as post-hardcore as a dislike for their music because I actually do enjoy United By Fate and Pedals…as long as it’s in context.
Officially graduated from their prior endeavors (and there are many), their “super group” sound takes on a much more alternative vibe. It’s Foo Fighters meets Fountains of Wayne. Presidents of the United States of America meets The Get Up Kids. It’s an older, more mature version of the sounds and songs that many of you reading this grew up on, and that’s not a bad thing. They members of Rival Schools might be musical royalty in their own rights, but don’t let their age fool you – they still have a lot to offer. They might all look like teachers from rival schools, but that doesn’t stop them from putting on a damn good show.