‘Pop Music’ sees Remo Drive polish their sound, for better or worse

words by ryan martin (@ryanmartin182)

Remo Drive’s debut, Greatest Hits exploded into the indie punk scene with a raw,rating 6 energetic sound. Now, they’ve followed it up with Pop Music, a three-song-EP. The new batch of tracks features a reworking of Heartstrings, which was previously featured on a split with fellow Minnesota band, Unturned. The reworking of Heartstrings loses the spunk of the original recording and sounds much paler than its predecessor.

Pop Music has an unmistakable polished tone to Remo Drive’s sound. This works well on Blue Ribbon and Song of the Summer, which sound like they were written with this tone in mind. Both tracks are shimmery pop-punk summer anthems. What fails to stick around in Remo Drive’s latest offering is the memorability that Greatest Hits had. Each song was different, had incredible hooks, and a sense of in-your-face-energy. While Pop Music sounds like it’s a step in the right direction for Remo Drive’s career, considering their recent signing to the giant Epitaph Records, it could potentially be a turning point for the many fans won over by Greatest Hits.

Remo Drive is not a band that sounds significantly worse when they step up their production. Frontman Erik Paulson’s vocals have a strikingly high range, which is shown on their brighter tracks like I’m My Own Doctor and Yer’ Killin Me. While the grittier tone works well with the songs on Greatest Hits, the structuring of the songs on Pop Music demand a shinier sound.

It would be unfair to call Pop Music a misstep for the band, or even a step at all for that matter.

If you liked this, check Ryan’s interview with Remo Drive or see where Greatest Hits landed in our Best Albums of 2017 list.

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