Tuesday 28 May 2013

Remote - Remote

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

It's impressive what you can achieve in a year. Remote only formed in 2011 and almost right away they set about recording this self-titled debut album which was released at the end of 2012. The quintet must have either had a few songs up their respective sleeves before they got together, or they naturally gel in the studio and everything simply falls into place. There's nothing particularly simple about this album though, and they touch upon different sights and sounds of the music world as they travel through this set of songs; maybe this is an indication that different members each contributed whole songs to the project. Despite the variation, 'Remote' is an album that gels well and sounds highly accomplished for a debut.

If we take a track-by-track guide, it will be perhaps the best way to put across the listening experience that Remote give you. The get things going with 'Hold Me Now I'm Yours To Keep'; it's a big song and the mid-pace makes those guitars and vocals all the more powerful, rather like a slow moving force than a quick hit. That said, it's actually one of the more conventional tracks and may be off-putting to fans of more alternative sounds, but don't worry, they're just getting going. They ramp up the pace for single 'Silhouette' which is a glossy and modern new-wave track with echoes of New Order when they make heavier use of the guitars. It also fits in well with what many indie crossover bands of recent years have been doing. They opt for a similar approach on 'Prototypes' but here it works better and they sound like they're flying.

It's here they change the pace again and we stumble upon a definite highlight in the anthemic 'Black Rain', a great piece of synth-powered post-punk with a melody that sticks in your head. This is classy stuff. They slow things further on 'Gods Playground' but this is no mid-album lull, as this song is another highlight and shows yet more diversity, turning into quite the epic by the end. On the off-chance you were missing the more lively numbers, then 'Time Of Our Lives' immediately follows and is one of the best here, brilliantly combining those synths with the traditional band set-up for something approaching dreamy electronic shoegaze; the short blast of 'Web Of Convergence' has a similar effect and it's almost as if the album grows in stature towards the end. 'Skyrise' is a confident track but another of those that tickles the mainstream a little too much for alternative types, and then 'Auto-Inter' draws the lot to a droning and atmospheric close. To be honest it's a bit of a mystery as to just how these guys aren't better known yet.

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