Rhythm & Views

Pilot to Gunner

There's a lot to like about Pilot to Gunner--the Brooklyn-based rock band that recently released its second, full-length album--the air-raid guitar storms; the terse, abstract lyrics; the rumbling, assertive rhythms.

In fact, there's so much to like about the band's new CD that you almost forget it borrows from so many other cool alternative groups of recent memory--Fugazi, Girls Against Boys, Sonic Youth, At the Drive In, the mighty Hüsker Dü and even the broad strokes of Soundgarden.

Frankly, Get Saved sounds like the best rock albums in my record collection from the past couple of decades. That's not to say they are aggro, whatever that means, or emo, which seems to be the default category of choice for anything that is alternative, aggressive and melodic.

Like the infectious title track--an ironic indictment of salvation that is both gloriously defiant and a little sad--the razzle-dazzle explosion of "Barrio Superstarrio" courses with electrifying loud-soft dynamics. Then, the band gets art-school with the confrontational "The Product" and the druggy "Metropolitans," a deceptively straight-ahead rocker that hides some deliciously off-kilter time changes.

Part of the magic of Pilot to Gunner is how singer-guitarist Scott Padden and guitarist-singer Patrick Hegarty weave intricate melodic lines and barking call-and-response vocals. Hey, if the women in Sleater-Kinney can do it, these guys can do it just as well.

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