The COVID lockdown of 2020 impacted the world to varying degrees. Taking a mandatory work hiatus without the ability to travel was unusual for our modern day. Music projects sat idle due to our unique circumstances. Musicians turned to online collaborations and to other musicians in their immediate radius. Unexpected collaborations emerged and new bonds were forged. A “COVID band” is a new term I’ve started to hear recently. Creativity doesn’t rest even in the harshest conditions. Remote Control falls into this category. Members of the band hail from Athens, GA, Richmond, VA and Philadelphia, PA music scenes. These seasoned vets came together and recorded five singles under the loosely titled Shed Session.
Succinct and sweet, “Annihilate” barrels down upon us like a skateboarder bombing a hill. The heavy-handed distorted bassline introduction sets the intensity thermostat to high. Four bars later the entire band joins the fold. The backing chant sung in the verses to balance the main vocal line is tailored for a live show. A rewarding spectacle for concert goers is when the entire band sings along even without a mic. Funny that such a simple act encourages crowd participation. The energy hits its apex in the choruses as crashing double time drums and overdriven guitars create a static frenzy. This song has a classic punk rock vibe and formula. Even though “Annihilate” borrows from some of punk rock’s greats, their single distinctly showcases the band’s sound.
Listen to “Annihilate” off of Shed Session below
The single “Blow For Blow” toes the line of alternative and pop punk. In the verses bright melodies climb like a rollercoaster before descending into a dark tunnel. The words “You want to be the victim, I want to be the hero” bounce in the darkness before trudging the depths to our escape hatch. Backing vocals add depth and excitement to the track. After the second and third chorus, a guitar lead captures rock n roll euphoria. I hear a bit of “Lump” from the Presidents of The United States of America and definitely a dash of The Offspring.
One could say that a certain genre or movement is a lifestyle choice, but punk rock is a little different. By nature, the music has melodic pop in its DNA. Punk shows are usually high energy raucous filled events attracting both the young and the young at heart. Lyrically, these artists lay themselves out with an “all or nothing” mentality, completely vulnerable and bare. Remote Control checks all of these boxes. Their music is raw, played with heart with undeniable chemistry. So, I wonder… Will this group of music veterans continue to record new material, or will they go back to their main projects once COVID recedes? I’m hoping for new music.