“this one’s built for blasting with the windows down” BROOKLYN VEGAN
“they’re ready to start wooing new fans over the radio…Ode to Joy 2 almost sounds like an Arctic Monkeys ballad” CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“Star Worship continues on the indie-rock trend, a track that sounds more like Modest Mouse than Modern Baseball” UPROXX
“the soundtrack to donate our eardrums to for the rest of this bizarre year” AUPIUM
“more theatrical, Erik Paulson’s symphonic vocals soar over his brother Stephen’s funky bass line” FLOOD
“a strong vocal performance and energetic guitars” RIFF MAGAZINE
“Remo Drive are back and louder than ever” NEW NOISE MAGAZINE
Remo Drive sound larger than ever on their highly anticipated new album, A Portrait of an Ugly Man, out now on Epitaph Records. With its acrobatic guitar work, deeply self-referential lyrics and off-the-walls energy, the album calls back to the dextrous, eccentric sound that helped the band – brothers Erik (vocals, guitar) and Stephen (bass) Paulson – explode into the underground with their 2017 debut. Self-produced and mixed, A Portrait of an Ugly Man feels all at once familiar and fresh. Taking shape in their parent’s basement in Minnesota, the space breathed a looseness into the songs, while the freedom of the sessions left the band able to explore the next evolution of their sound.
A Portrait of an Ugly Man finds Remo Drive truly in their element – both physically and sonically. Whereas the Paulsons filtered their buoyant songwriting through the concise lens of storytellers like Bruce Springsteen and The Killers on their predecessor Natural, Everyday Degradation, A Portrait of an Ugly Man is more spontaneous, bolstered by the same charm and levity that made their debut, Greatest Hits, such an underground favourite.
The loathsomeness Paulson explores on the album certainly reflect less glamorous aspects of both his psyche and that of others, but when they’re cut with his quick wit and self-deprecation, they seem less like an actual indictment and more of an embrace of all of life’s imperfection and absurdity. In turning the mirror back at themselves in this way, Remo Drive have learned a lot about who they really are: A Portrait of an Ugly Man is an album that doesn’t seek to minimise important subjects like mental health or self-worth, but rather welcome them in and accept them as part of what it means to be human.