Let's face it: giving musical instruments to a bunch of young, bummed out guys can be a dangerous endeavor, all too often resulting in over the top emotional anthems, noisy artistic masturbation, or half-fast boredom ballads. But the flip side to that coin, thankfully, can be something beautiful. When skilled musicians become overbearing on their instruments, instead of on the listener, a bunch of bummed out guys can put together some pretty saccharine, enthralling songs.
Meticulously layering reverb-heavy guitars, thumping bass lines, and oft-synthetic beats, Missing Pilots pour themselves into their instruments with both composure and vigor, constructing epic songs in which melodies wrestle with drifting sound-scapes, and win.
Missing Pilots formed in the summer of 2002, when members from two defunct Philadelphia-area bands came together - drummer Rob Hart and bassist Erik Kornet from Blue Flavored Bliss, guitarist Brad Topping and Curran from Noc26.
Despite having only played together for a little over a year and half, Missing Pilots have already spent a lot of time on the road, opening for established national acts including Kinski (Sub Pop), The Oranges Band (Lookout!), Mates of State (Polyvinyl), and Engine Down (Lovitt Records). Quite a large fan base has built around them over the course of that time, as the band has performed in numerous clubs, coffeehouses and basements all over North East United States. They never fail to pack empty rooms in their hometown of West Chester, PA, either.
In 2003, Pittsburgh-based Eidus Records released their debut, Dispassionately, a six-song EP that finds the band at its most anxious, creative, and, yes, a little bummed out. The end of 2003 found the band's popularity growing at a breakneck pace. In December alone they completed a week long winter tour, sold out their CD release party in Philadelphia, and were selected by judges from Pitchforkmedia, Buddyhead, and Makeout Club to open for the Suicide Girls national tour in Philadelphia. In its first week at college radio the release debuted on the CMJ Top 200 and is expected to climb into the Top 100 by the end of its run with Team Clermont (in mid-March). The band will also be completing a massive 45 date summer tour throughout the months of June and July.
On record, the band captures just what makes their live performances so captivating: a keen ability to make something soft sound angry, something loud sound timid, and something urgent sound like yesterday's news. Maybe their posture isn't the best, but they have the talent and commitment to follow their music wherever it goes, and right now it's going nowhere but up.
"With their tendency towards haunting, tremolo vocals and operatic guitar work, it's no surprise that the part Philly-based, part Pittsburgh-based Missing Pilots have been compared to early Radiohead ad nauseam. For once, though, the description fits...Ultimately, though, Missing Pilots have their own sound going on, thank you very much, and thanks to the crystal clear production on their album, all 30 minutes of its college-age angst sound a bit better with each listen."---- Pittsburgh Pulp