Remo Drive - Pop Music (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Remo Drive

Pop Music (2018)


For whatever reason, Remo Drive have rubbed people the wrong way. Not sure if it's jealousy or they're an easy target to talk shit about but after listening to Greatest Hits and then jogging back to see how they altered their sound en route to this new fizz of pop-punk, I've come to a powerful conclusion: who gives a fuck? Their last album was pretty snappy and perfect for lovers of indie/emo/math rock. I mean, "Yer Killing Me" alone's one of the most tongue-in-cheek fun jams of all last year. Fast forward to an Epitaph deal (oh yeah, living the dream) and a three-song EP aptly titled Pop Music and you can tell how much of a good time these dudes are having not giving a shit about anything other than making the music they love.

Pop-punk's a hard genre to like these days, I admit. I mean you've got your PUP (fuck, yeah) and then your FOB (sadly, BOOOO!)... but Remo Drive know just when and where to straddle the line. It's interesting they switched from working with Jack Shirley (who produces cute records like this e.g. Telethon and a whole bunch of others) and went with Joe Reinhart (Algernon Cadwallader, Hop Along) but it works out well. 

What I love about this move is Reinhart adds a fuller, flushed sound: similar to what he did working with Joyce Manor. From the melodic, riffy upswings of the first two tracks -- "Blue Ribbon" and "Song of the Summer" -- Reinhart's presence though is more felt on the thicker, fuzzier, bass-heavy "Heartstrings." This is a direction I'd like to see Remo Drive explore more (aka the Tiny Engines path that bands like The Hotelier and Runaway Brother walked). There's more depth there I believe they can exploit so damn well. But that's just me being pretentious. What they're doing is working and finely so at that.

We know they lean a lot to the buoyant pop-side of things, now here's hoping they swing back to the punk side some more. With that in mind, their Epitaph start is promising to say the least!