Remain - 2010 EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


2010 EP (2010)


Given that Remain have a sort of desperate but playful take on melodic, emotional hardcore, you would have thought the band would be aware of the '90s emocore band with the same name. Or that they would have at least done some cursory research and realized "Oh, shit, another punk/hardcore band already had the same name. Maybe we should go with something else." Or maybe they just really wanted to be filed right next to Resonance in your demo collection, because that band is clearly Remain's biggest influence. I actually checked to see if Remain shared members with Resonance when I first listened to them.

"Who the hell is Resonance?" Oh, right. Resonance was a short-lived band from Remain's hometown (Richmond, Va.) who recorded but two demos and a split 7", and they never really toured out much or recorded enough to receive the recognition they so rightly deserved. Even on those demos the band's songwriting was stellar, and retained a scrappy and indelibly heartfelt touch with tendencies that reminded one of steadfast favorites like Shook Ones, Rites of Spring and Jawbreaker. I would say that's largely what Remain's doing too, but they're not nearly as musically or lyrically powerful.

This patched-together EP/demo carries promise, but it's aping their hometown heroes a little too closely without having the same amount of refined talent. Raspy, '80s Dischord vocals are yelped over clumsy, slightly melodic and roughly recorded emo (in one of the oldest senses of the thing), from the Moss Icon-isms at the end of "Skin Stealer" and depressing spiral of instrumental Track 5 to the energetic romp of "Grow" and "Foundations". "Foundations", in particular, seems to nod to Resonance's "Transfuse" with its title, and lifts the intro from Resonance's "A Surfacing History" almost note for note.

It's all very raw, and, for a certain sect of listeners, very familiar. This band has potential, but they've got a lot of work ahead of them. I'm rooting for them, though, since I miss Resonance probably as much as they do.

Skin Stealer