Indianapolis, Indiana based Pioneer (previously News From Verona) shows early maturity and new creativity in every track on their debut release for Slo Speak. The band spent considerable time perfecting the album while in the studio just outside of Nashville, TN with acclaimed producer Mark Townsend (Relient K, The Wedding).
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Pioneer Gives The New Year Its First Solid Alternative Debut| Posted February 14, 2012 It’s still early in 2012, but already the year’s seen a solid debut from alternative rockers Pioneer. With a sound reminiscent of several other high-performing Christian rockers on the scene, Pioneer should have little trouble finding an audience with which to resonate.
“Lights” and “Treason” gave the album some early sonic rock goodness after the mellow-but-pleasant opener, “Clarity.” Both of these are enjoyable tracks that seem to be vying for some radio attention. “Reaching” and its instrumental lead-in “Mantua” provide moving and even slightly haunting balladry. All in all, the band seems to know how to balance between the softer and the more upbeat.
Lyrically, the band seems to have enough to say to make listeners take notice. “Catharsis” exclaims, “We are the blind leading the blind through the darkest of places.” In “Treason,” the band sings, “I can’t go back there again and commit myself to treason against my innocence.” Throughout, one notices a clear depth to the lyrics, which is a plus for setting the band apart. They may not speak to anything not already covered in pop/rock music, but they make their message relevant to the listener through a sincere delivery.
Closing Thoughts: Pioneer offers a thoughtful and pleasant soft rock release that should keep them on the short-list of the better debuts of 2012. With sounds reminiscent of several other Christian rock acts currently populating the genre, Pioneer should fit right in. Hopefully, in future releases, they’ll be able to define their sound a little bit more, but for right now, this debut serves as an enjoyable introduction to what will hopefully be a long musical career.
4.5/5| Posted March 09, 2012
The self-titled debut album by relatively new band Pioneer offers 11 tracks (plus 1 instrumental track) of fun pop punk sounds and honest sincere vocals that usually take similar bands a couple of albums to acheive. The sound of the band is not particularly innovative and comes off as a bit standard for the genre but it's fun nonetheless. The lyrics are also not really heavy hitting as they feature themes that have been done before but the way lead vocalist Josh Randolph sings them, with honesty and sincerity, makes it seem relevant to people. This is the true highlight of the album.
Pioneer may not be the most innovative band out there now but the album does contain some moments of brilliance that I haven't heard on any other album this year. This is one of the strongest debut albums to come out in the past couple of years and I hope the band continues to make this kind of music for a good long time.