8-Bit Revival, You've Been Believed, Minor Manor - YouIndie.com
You've Been Believed, the third album from Dayton, Ohio art punks 8-Bit Revival, is a pristine (but not sterile) and engaging record that the band recorded in the basement studio of drummer Jayson Hartings. "i wish you weren't horrible" is a hooky, herky-jerky opener, that immediately shows Harting's skills behind the skins. Call and response vocals between guitarists Shane Weber and Tim Krug during the song's chorus drive home the tune's 90s indie guitar rock vibe, perhaps because of Weber's vocal similarity to Braid's Bob Nanna. "man made gods" and "tunable ghosts" are fantastically tight indie pop songs that push the boundaries of what pop should sound like when it is set to angular riffing and the lock-step, off-timed rhythms of Hartings and bassist/co-vocalist Alan Baker. While the band is quirky, they never sacrifice hookiness for weirdness. I really appreciate the band's self-assuredness in this area because they manage to avoid making something that sounds over-wrought and that would otherwise ruin an upbeat and memorable song and record. "kids get caught" jumps off with buzzing guitars that make way for one of many of the records highlights - a song with both poppy immediacy and edginess. The stop-start rhythms in the bridge and the gang vocals make way for the record's most memorable moments, complete with sing-along "whoas." Baker's presence is perhaps most noticeable during the moody, post-punk grooviness of ""wake up". By Pixies-esque, slow- burn closing track "politics are better at night" it is clear that each of these guys bring their own distinct skillsets to the band and that 8-Bit would be an incomplete picture if any of these personalities weren't present. Simply, these guys have an enviable friendship, and a mature understanding and respect for the music they make together. And having seen them grow over the years, it is no surprise to me that this record is one of the strongest and most rousing local releases in recent memory. 8-Bit are the kind of confident, competent band that takes chances without stooping to apeing anybody else's sound or cherry picking the popular sounds that would make the record a cookie-cutter version of somebody else's work. You've Been Believed stands strong on its own merits, and it is my sincerest hope that a week on the road early this April will create the buzz the band needs to continue building the audience they deserve.
Recommended For Fans Of: Braid, Dismemberment Plan, Les Savy Fav
- Tim Anderl / YouIndie (03/29/10)
Man Made Gods Preview - The Buddha Den
...it's been a while since we've heard anything new from Dayton's spazzed-out faves, 8-Bit Revival. Well, that's all about to change. The quartet has a new album due out April 1 on the Minor Manor imprint entitled You've Been Believed. Picking up where 2007's Under the Fairweather album left off, YBB finds the band honing a blend of slashing guitars, swirling synth punctuations, and propulsive rhythms into an infectiously understated dance party. Lead track "Man Made Gods" serves to introduce 8BR circa 2010 as the driving drum intro quickly gives way to the interweaving snarl of guitar and vocal lines while the relentless bass line subtly underpins every twist and turn...
- Kyle Melton / The Buddha Den (01/25/10)
Under the Fairweather - Copper Press
Contrary to their chosen maxim, Dayton, OH's 8-Bit Revival is not another group cranking out tunes in the already overfilled Nintendo cover band genre. The quartet is rather stirring a minor revival with a disc influenced by '90s post-punk and emo. Citing Cap'n Jazz, Swervedriver, and the Wrens as their RIYDs (Recommended If You Dig) 8-Bit Revival's tunes have a definitive dated feel them. Contrary to how that may sound, Under the Fairweather's contrast in sound to the flavor of the month junk bond emo groups, is the record's strength. As with every decent emo disc, 8-BR by-and-large avoid the usual pratfalls that made the genre so inconsistent. Shane Weber's vocals have a genuine and earnest feel to them and they don't crack when going up in pitch. The accompanying music has solid rock hooks and the lyrics don't pass into the ultra whiny territory. When you have that combination going for you, nine times out of ten you have made a great record. Under the Fairweather falls into this 90th percentile. So, if you are a crusty old music geek bitching of memories past and have rubbed your Braid records to the bone, this disc will be a refreshing foray into variations of a theme. Or in this case, back to the days when the kids actually had taste - and to a time when this soap box was still sturdy.
- David Lichius / The Daily Copper (10/06/06)
Up & Atom EP - Under the Volcano #84
Somewhat comparable to Swervedriver in their heyday, The 8-Bit Revival beautifully melds sky-sparkling flourishes of jubilantly swaying guitar rhythms with electrically radiant leads and a bouncy, trippy backbeat of bass and drums. The endearingly clean vocals sound like the introspective emoting of a carefree, teenaged boy who joyfully frolics with his pet dog in a breeze-swept, dandelion-dotted meadow during an endless glaze of summer. The four songs of Up and Atom are a distinctly Alt-Rock outburst of glistening sonic sweetness with a slight tickle of Emo and plenty of stratospheric Shoe-Gazer intricacies. And it ultimately makes me feel all fuzzy and alive inside like the first day of spring after a particularly harsh winter. Freshly invigorating!
- Moser, under the volcano issue # 84
Up & Atom EP: collective-zine
These guys won major points before I even put their record on, due to the sheer computer geekery. The Sinclair Spectrum was the best 8-Bit computer (heck, the best computer) ever made. Boo to your 16 bits, I made do with half that number and had double the fun. Then there was the fact that the CD came with a giant floppy disk! I had never seen anything like it and I love old computers and nonsense like that. It's bigger than those old BBC Micro 5 1/4 inch disks. Actually, I reckon it's just a press release gimmick now that I think about it and open up the disk to find a few bits and pieces inside. But not to worry.
Then I put the CD on, this is great! And I promise I am not biased because of that giant floppy disk. The first song is "Headlights" and it is really nice and poppy indie rock, the kind of stuff nobody ever sends me for free, the kind of thing you might have stumbled across as the band who played before the Promise Ring or Braid around 1998 I guess. That kind of gorgeously fun emo-pop gently imbibed with spirit o' Superchunk. The guitars bounce along catchily, the bass subtly nudges things in the right direction, and the melody slowly seeps into my head. Damn. I need to put these on a tape and play them in the car over and over already. The vocals are really nice. They are soft in places but not to the point of being wishy-washy, and they compliment the music really well. Too often bands that want to play this sort of thing get a really awful singer. Not the case here. Wow, why did I not play this for about a month when I first received it? I'm such a dork. I think I got it into my head that they were going to be nothing like what they actually sound like. "Tapedeck" is another really nice song on here (sadly, there are only 4), which starts off with intentionally scruffy Wrens-esque guitars, before later just totally falling away in a beautiful twinkle bliss out. Then we get the final song, "1509", which is just absolute fun. Fast paced, poppy mid-west genius. It's all good.
This is way ace. Biggest surprise in ages, thanks for sending me this, wow. I wish everything I got sent was a good as this. These guys and the 101 and maybe some cuddles are going to make winter warmer.
- Andy Malcolm www.collective-zine.co.uk 11-28-03