KUMD Album Review: Natural, Everyday Degradation
Remo Drive released their fifth EP on October 1st, 2019. The three tracks of the EP present a more polished edition of the parent album, Natural, Everyday Degradation.
The partners in crime, Erik and Stephen Paulson, grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and made homegrown music in their parents’ house. Natural, Everyday Degradation was their second studio album through Epitaph records and featured a blossoming pop-punk tempo combined with riffing indie rock bass by Stephen and growing vocals by Erik.
The first track “Romeo” begins with their classic punk-rock guitar riffs that dance along with the forward beat. The parent album focuses on the idea of monotony in routine, and Erik reintroduces this theme in “Romeo,” extending the concept to include colorlessness of relationships saying, “We both speak in perfect screenplay scripture.” He describes how tedium dulls the senses and slows reactions in the repeated line “For all I care time doesn’t exist.”
The concept is artfully carried through to “Separate Beds (We’ve Got A Good Thing),” a revamped song from the parent album. The updated guitar flows in and out with the vocals: at drier spots riffs are at the forefront, but at crescendos they become passive. The oscillating sound provides more contrast through the track and picture-frames Erik’s ever-evolving vocals on the same thought- provoking lyrics: “Perfect is more like the weather, it comes and then will pass.”
Last on the EP is the song “Nearly Perfect” that highlights the brothers’ artistic process in producing the EP and developing their own sound. “Change routines/mix it up/take a class and buy some new shoes. Stop the tape wind it up start it back up from the top.” The track represents Remo Drive’s evolution navigating the indie and emo scene: “I spent a lot of time asking questions and looking inward,” Erik reflects on the new direction and sound of the band.
The Natural, Everyday EP continues a poppier style in comparison to their first album Greatest Hits but has a more polished style than the parent album. Throughout the band’s discography, they have been developing a unique style that both pushes a repetitive pop beat and eases into smoothly flowing lyrics. Contrasting the two, Remo Drive creates a slower hitting sound than their first album, Greatest Hits, but maintains Weezer-inspired indie lyric phrasing that has had listeners hooked and wanting to go to “Beverly Hills” from the beginning.