Remo Drive and Slow Pulp
There’s something about Epitaph Records, when you hear of a band signed to that label, you pretty much always know what you’re in for. Emo, power pop, and pop punk make up the bulk of their signees, and some bands try to cover all those stylistic canvases with a paint brush as wide as a wallpaper roller. Groups like Minnesota’s Remo Drive are unapologetic about their wish to appeal as wide a possible fan base as they can, within a crowded field already overflowing with Weezer wannabes and vapid Vampire Weekenders whose youth and inexperience all but guarantees recycling over innovation. They cheekily called their 2017 debut Greatest Hits, and in fact did score several mostly viral hits that may not have earned much money but still built their brand. Tracks such as “Crash Test Rating,” “Yer Killin Me,” and “Art School” got the attention of Epitaph, who’ll soon release their full-length Songs I Think Rock, shortly before the band plays the Irenic on June 23. Demos of several tracks were “leaked” via Reddit’s Indieheads group, and reaction seemed generally favorable, although several laughed off the young group’s reliance on so many of the now-tired mope tropes of emo. The all-ages bill includes Slow Pulp (who cite influences such as Thee Oh Sees and St. Vincent) and Minneapolis’ Heart to Gold.