RIVAL SCHOOLS

+ ?

+ KITTY EMPIRE

 

Location: Schorndorf (Germany), JuZe Hammerschlag

Date: December 6th 2000

 

Rival Schools (United By Fate) is the new band of Walter Schriefels and Sammy Siegler, the two chief executives (hehe) of Some Records. Maybe they are more well known for the bands they played in, e.g. Youth of Today, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Side By Side, Quicksand, etc. etc. But donít expect these guys to play a similar sound than the bands mentioned above, with the exception of maybe Quicksand. In fact I didnít know what kind of music this four piece would create as these guys didnít release anything before this tour. Thereís a split EP on its way, but it wasnít sold on tour. I think itís pretty cool to go on tour anyway, but due to the fact that hardly anybody seemed to know Rival Schools, only very few people showed up. There were just about 50 people attending this gig, but they definitely missed a great show, thatís for sure. Before the show I thought that maybe not that many people would come, because of the fact that there was no release available from the band, but on the other hand I expected more people than those that actually showed up, because hey, just take a look at the bands I mentioned before!

Anyway, the first band on the bill was called Kitty Empire and they came from Germany. The three guys (bass, drums, and a guitarist who also did the vocals) played a musical style thatís not that easy to describe, but letís try: It was pretty complicated and reminded me to Quicksand or Fugazi at times. Not the stuff that I listen to all day (although when I listen to these bands, I enjoy them very much), but pretty cool. One funny thing was that the drummer didnít really show any emotions while playing, he just sat behind his drumkit and did his job without hardly any facial movement. Yeah!

After them another act from Germany entered the stage, but unfortunately I forgot their name. This is really stupid, because I saw them before at the same location (but I canít quite remember which band they supported back then) and that same I couldnít remember their name, too. Maybe Iím getting oldÖ I guess their name consisted of the word ďRocketĒ, but hey guys, if you read this, please get in touch and I apologize! Their music was okay, nothing outstanding but a mixture of Quicksand like elements combined with more melodic parts. Once again I thought that the singer (who also played guitar) must be the younger brother of No Use For A Name frontman Tony Sly, because he looked almost exactly like him.

After their set everyone was waiting for Rival Schools, but first I wasnít sure if they would play at all, because I didnít see any of the guys around and there was no merchandise at all. But then, just when the stage was prepared for the final band, some guys arrived with a bunch of Rival Schools merchandise and began to sell it. I was kinda relieved because one wouldnít sell merch if the bandís not playing, right? And after a short while four guys entered the stage and began their set. And it was great. As I said, hardly anybody knew what to expect, but I donít think it was disappointing. The sound of Rival Schools is hard to describe, but there were elements of complicated Quicksand like parts as well as some kind of college rock tunes. I know this is a very inaccurate description how they sound like, but I canít think of a better one. Wait for the Split EP or the full length and judge for yourselfÖ Anyway, Walter, who played the guitar and sang, looked pretty exhausted, but maybe that was just a misconception of mine. Pretty cool was the longsleeve shirt he wore which depicted Mickey Mouse. But he got rid of that one pretty soon as it was quite warm although not many people were there and there was anything but a moshpit going on. Sharing the stage with him were a bass player who acted pretty weird but cool. The other guitarist had lots of effects that made the sound even more interesting. And finally behind the drumkit sat Sammy Siegler. I am no drummer, but even I could see that this guy is very talented. It was totally interesting to watch him play. As I said, the music is hard to describe, but I guess everyone into Quicksand will like Rival Schools as well.

After some time they went off the stage, but the people yelled them back so they did some encores. When they finally left Walter came back, grabbed a guitar and played the first verse until the chorus of the Gorilla Biscuits ďStart todayĒ, just him on guitar and singing. A fantastic end of a fantastic show! If these guys will come over again touring the album (I hope they will do so!), donít miss them!

 (Stefan)