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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Decade Wait!
I was one of those who loved United By Fate.

I didn't jump on the "Next Nirvana" bandwagon as there was no need - United By Fate was a fantastic album full of great rock songs that really struck a chord with me.

Walter Schreifels' voice along with the band's distinctive grungey sound is back on Pedals, an album just like its predecessor full of great...
Published on 23 Mar 2011 by Camilo Cienfuegos

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent
United by Fate is one of the ver very few albums that has lasted the test of time in my opinion. I can still listen to it today and enjoy it every bit (if not more) as much as the day I first bought it.

So, fast forward 10 years or so and we finally get a follow up. Question is, whats changed? well, not a lot really and in fairness this cant be a drawback. Why...
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by Mr. P. D. Horner


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Decade Wait!, 23 Mar 2011
This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
I was one of those who loved United By Fate.

I didn't jump on the "Next Nirvana" bandwagon as there was no need - United By Fate was a fantastic album full of great rock songs that really struck a chord with me.

Walter Schreifels' voice along with the band's distinctive grungey sound is back on Pedals, an album just like its predecessor full of great rock songs.

Rival Schools are not reinventing the wheel, but they will have undoubtedly made their fans happy.

Album opener 'Wring It Out' is as strong as anything on United By Fate (except perhaps 'Used For Glue'). '69 Guns' is catchy (although little bit Goo Goo Dolls) and 'Eyes Wide Open' rocks, albeit in a slightly regimental fashion. 'Racing To Red Lights' is gorgeous though and 'Shot After Shot' a head-nodder which will sound great live.

'Choose Your Adventure' is an odd one, adding a new but I think misguided sound to Rival Schools' palette and ' A Parts For B Actors' is dull and one-paced.

The final three tracks though ensure that Pedals goes out with a bang rather than a whimper and I for one am incredibly glad that Rival Schools made the decision to not just take the money from a reunion tour built on the back of one of the most impressive albums of the early nineties, but to record new music with seemingly the same gusto they had a decade ago.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Sep 2014
This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
Thought the 1st album (united by fate) was superb, but then it seemed the band had vanished into the ether. Was pleasantly surprised when I saw this available for download. In my opinion it sounds slightly softer overall than the 1st album, however it's still awesome and I think I prefer it (maybe because I played United by Fate to death). If you haven't listened to United by Fate I'd recommend buying both.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait, 12 July 2013
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This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
10 years is a long time but when you come out with an album like this it's definitely worth the wait, can't find a bad track on the album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to (some) winners, 24 Nov 2011
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Mr. Steven Richard "steve27664" (Leyburn, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
Far too long a gap between Rival Schools albums (I suppose Walter's been busy with solo stuff). I loved their first album and was looking forward to this. I wasn't disappointed. This material sits between his old band Quicksand and his criminally-overlooked Walking Concert album "Run to be born".

Overall the sound is quite accessible for the main part.
Highlights:
69 Guns - fairly steams along with an uptempo swagger but is actually quite radio-friendly.
Choose Your Adventure - probably my fave from the album. Bet this goes down well live.
Racing to Red Lights.
Shot After Shot - this is very reminiscent of Quicksand.
Small Doses - laidback cool.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, 31 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
United by Fate is one of the ver very few albums that has lasted the test of time in my opinion. I can still listen to it today and enjoy it every bit (if not more) as much as the day I first bought it.

So, fast forward 10 years or so and we finally get a follow up. Question is, whats changed? well, not a lot really and in fairness this cant be a drawback. Why mess with a winning formula. Opening 3 tracks of Pedals would fit beautifully on United, they a re great, classic Rival Schools songs. I also really enjoyed Small Doses and Shot After Shot. There is some progression in Choose Your Adventure which has a very different sound to it that I think you will either love or hate.

For me though, the issue isnt the lack of quality, its the lack on content. After 10 years I expected something more than an album that lasts just over 35mins. NME magazine (who I hate btw, but just noticed a little piece they wrote about this album on the web) mentioned that Pedals would have been better if it had been released in 2002. I actually agree with this. Had it been released then I think it would have been an excellent solid 2nd album however after 10 years it just leaves you wanting a lot more and slightly unsatisfied.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rival Schools - Pedals, 16 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
As an album of Rock songs go this is a pretty good album. The problem Rival Schools will have is that their album "United By Fate" was a fantastic bunch of songs, released at a time when that genre of music was hitting the rock world with a bang and fitted perfectly in to that moment. Rival Schools fans will always be looking for comparisons to that great album but, as with time, bands move forward and try different things. And after a long break away you cant really expect them to produce "United By Fate 2"

Pedals has 10 songs all of which are good enough to be released on any album. "Wring It Out" is a very good opening song setting the scene and sound for the rest of the album, "Eyes Wide Open" "Shot After Shot" and "Big Waves" are very good "Rock" songs with album closer "The Ghost Is Out There" finishing off the album nicely.

If you think that this band has been away for a very long time this sounds like the "Finding their feet" album and was never ever going to live up to "United By Fate" But as I mentioned already if you want an album of solid rock songs and dont go comparison shopping in the past you will thoroughly enjoy this album.

The only reason this is four stars for me rather than five is because im not totally happy with the production as the guitar needs to be higher up in the mix and can sound very bassy when listening out loud but thats just my personal gripe with it. Listen on MP3 player for ultimate sound : )

Welcome back Rival Schools!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Rival Schools...but with the brakes on., 10 Mar 2011
This review is from: Pedals (Audio CD)
I'll guess that everyone reading this review is a huge fan of RS's debut album 'United by Fate'. To most it is now considered something of a cult classic - it took some of Quicksand's great guitar work and added it to radio-friendly choruses and a massive-sounding production...a perfect combination!
So ten years on what we now have is 10 tracks and little over 35 minutes. The obvious question is 'is it as good as UBF?'...well of course it isn't. It starts promisingly enough though. Recent single 'Wring it out' is classic RS and is sure to be great live. Similarly the 2nd track '69 guns' will sound great with a few hundred people singing along. Then comes 'Eyes wide open', a track that would happily compete with anything on the debut album. It's an absolute stormer of a track and the heaviest on the album by a long way.
And then we come to 'Choose your adventure'...and it starts going wrong...very wrong. This particular track is driven by an electronic fuzz-bass-type sound reminiscent of Jamiroqui! Bizarre in the extreme. Is the rest of the album similarly 'experimental'? No, in fact the remainder then smooths out to the point of the second half of the record almost blending into one long mainstream rock song. At times I'm sure I recognised guitar lines startlingly similar to Travis or Coldplay. Am I overplaying this?...yes. But I feel the point is valid.
I guess the most relevant question isn't 'is it as good as UBF?', the question is 'when I want to listen to Rival Schools will I ever choose Pedals rather than UBF?'
Whilst I'll have Pedals on heavy rotation for a month or two I fear the answer is an emphatic 'No'. Sadly Pedals just doesn't have the songs or the bite to merit future plays.
After ten years a 35 minute mediocre album is a disappointment.
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