Piebald – The Rock Revolution Will Not Be Televised

3 out of 5

Label: Big Wheel Recreation

Produced by: Brian McTernan (recorded by, mixed by)

Once Piebald found their niche as punk-tinged pop rockers, they really soared, far surpassing anyone else in the emo-pop pool of artists found on their frequented labels – Big Wheel Recreation, SideOneDummy – while also very much staying “in their lane;” they were accessible to the masses, but had this extra dose of wit and spirit in their lyrics and presentation (and damned catchy singles!) so as to give them some broader, crossover credibility.

EP The Rock Revolution Will Not Be Televised has some of that going for it, just, y’know, less so. It’s a fantastic track – opener American Hearts – backed by some pokes and prods at other things the group did well, in simpler, watered down versions. They Don’t Understand Us At The Academy feels like a slight callback to their hardcore days in tone and structure, which makes it an interesting counterpoint to the other material but also somewhat out of place; David Lee Rock has their bratty humor and some good hooks but is missing the extra few ingredients which generally elevated their jokey lyrics from dumb to sneakily smart; Where Have All The Classics Gone? is solid, but would function as filler pop on one of their albums; and the closing title track brings in the group’s more emotive side, with an acoustic buildup to a grand ol’ conclusion, it just needs better lead-in tracks for such a conclusion to have impact.

Nothing really essential, but a fair stop-gap of B-side type material between albums.