Album Review: Remo Drive – “Natural, Everyday Degradation”

Posted: by The Editor

The Paulson brothers are back at it again with another LP. Their previous record, Greatest Hits, was a pop-punk delight, which was littered with great riffs and bass lines and accompanied by lead singer, Erik’s powerful (if sometimes whiny) vocals. After signing to Epitaph records, the band has now put out the highly anticipated follow up, Natural, Everyday Degradation. 

The record’s 2 singles were just a glimpse of hope for the record. “Two Bux” features some interesting harmonies and Erik’s vocals sound a bit more toned down and sophisticated. The guitar riffs are more refined and polished than on their previous releases, which shows that they spent time on the production quality of this release. The second single, “The Grind” is more signature to Remo Drive’s sound, but I found Erik’s more nasally vocals at times over the top. Even among these 2 singles, the songwriting is a little bit bland in comparison to Greatest Hits. It doesn’t seem like the band wanted to push the envelope on anything new or interesting, just sticking to what they know best, pop-punk hits, which on “The Grind” especially feels more pop than punk.

The third track “The Devil” is a bit more interesting. However, as the track progresses the songwriting again doesn’t have much variety in structure. The most that the track does is add some “oh’s” and “ah’s” in to showcase harmonies and vocal range, but besides that it fails to showcase anything really unique or new. They do add some piano at the end of the track, but it’s nothing that doesn’t carry the same melody as earlier in the song.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album’s tracks blend in with one another. None really stand out, and often times they continue a similar melody from the prior tracks. “Halos” does offer some interesting bridges in between the verses and chorus, but nothing outstanding enough to carry the back half of the record. 3 consecutive tracks, “Shakin’”, “Dogs” and “Separate Beds” are especially hard to distinguish from each other. This is all disappointing because Greatest Hits offered some distinction between tracks and had some really great bangers, that I remember well even now.

Natural, Everyday Degradation falls flat. Each track borrows things from each other, and not in a way that allows each track to stay as an individual song. The album overall is really disappointing and feels as if the band played it safe. I hope that on future releases they will take back the initiative and push the envelope a bit more like I know they are capable of doing.

Disappointing / Average /Good / Great / Phenomenal

Written by Sarah Knoll

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