Coming together in the first year of the new century, the group quickly gained a reputation for powerful rock before they even started to record. Combing the live intensity of Quicksand with more exploratory guitars and a newly melodic singing approach from Schreifels, Rival School took the urgency of the new metal trend and gave it a solid heart and a thoughtful mind. In an age when music was becoming dominated by completely unbelievable faux rock, the band disposed of clichés and focused on unbiased creativity. In an even more adventurous move, the group decided to make their first release something of a concept record and turned to Schreifels' own label, NY's Some Records, for the project. The idea was to start up a series of EPs wherein multiple groups would combine to create a single band, and Rival Schools looked no further than former Far frontman, current Onelinedrawing member, future New End Original singer, and sometimes touring partner Jonah Matranga to complete the equation. The resulting EP, Rival Schools United By Onelinedrawing, saw the band's initial excitement explode onto record with tracks like "Take One for the Team" and "Contraire," but the best was still to come. With allegiances to Island Records still existing from Schreifels' Quicksand days, the label scooped up the band's upcoming music, and summer 2001 saw the release of their first full-length LP, United By Fate. The record is a powerful document with adventurous songwriting, explosive energy, and melodically abrasive guitars, results that anyone who was paying attention should have been expecting all along.
The wheels began to come off shortly afterwards in 2002 when Ian Love left the group to focus on his side-project, Cardia. The rest of the band plugged away on a second album, but the group dissolved the following year amidst rumors that a second album was on the way. (It was finally officially released by the band in 2013 as Found.) After going their separate ways, Rival Schools reunited again in 2008 and hit the European festival circuit before heading back into the studio to begin working on their sophomore effort in earnest. After a decade of anticipation, Pedals finally arrived in 2011. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo, Rovi