REMO DRIVE – ” Natural, Everyday Degradation “

Posted: December 19, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Minnesota’s Remo Drive picked up a lot of buzz for their 2017 debut album “Greatest Hits”, which was self-released and soon became the talk of many emo-friendly online music circles. How many more bands with strained, nasally vocals, pop punk chord progressions, and silly song titles do we need? — but Remo Drive quickly caught on, signed to Epitaph Records, and continued to expand their fanbase. And now I’d say the many people who saw potential in them were right all along. Their recently-released second album is — in my humble opinion — much better than Greatest Hits and a pretty huge step forward.

“Natural, Everyday Degradation” has much cleaner production than Greatest Hits (it was produced by Hop Along’s Joe Reinhart and mixed by The National/Interpol collaborator Peter Katis), and the band’s singing and songwriting is a lot stronger than it was two years ago. The album is still under the umbrella of indie rock-friendly emo and pop punk, but these songs aren’t really written like emo or pop punk songs. Erik Paulson’s voice sounds a lot more pristine, and his melodies hearken back to classic pop like pre-acid Beatles or early power pop like Elvis Costello. His voice has evolved from a punky yelp into a matured croon, and he’s developed a real knack for songcraft that was only hinted at on Greatest Hits, and that you don’t hear everyday in the punk/emo scene. Also, Saves the Day and Joyce Manor are touring together later this year, and if you’re excited for that tour, Natural, Everyday Degradation is probably right up your alley.)

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Natural, Everyday Degradation is the kind of creative, artistic progression that you usually don’t hear this early on in a band’s career, so it already has me excited to hear where Remo Drive go next. If there are still some setbacks, the songs could be a little more musically diverse and Remo Drive could use a really strong chorus or two — the new album may remind me of Stay What You Are but they haven’t written their “At Your Funeral” yet — but at the rate they’re going, I wouldn’t be surprised if they churn out a modern classic one of these days.

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