Review: Remark - Keep Running




REMARK’s second EP, “Keep Running,” is hugely impressive - complex and dramatic, unsettling and disturbing in places. These songs are the sound of a band making their own music and doing it brilliantly.

I have started writing this review three or four times but I just couldn’t quite put into words how this left me feeling after listening to the whole EP a few times. The problem is that there is something rather unsettling about REMARK’s debut EP, or rather I should say disturbing, both musically and lyrically. This doesn’t mean that it’s something you might not want to listen to, it’s just that it’s not an easy listen. But we live in troubled times and art, and that includes music, should reflect that.

So why this is musically disturbing? All of the tracks (two original pieces and two covers) have these odd off-kilter sounds, frankly startling guitar, or these warped and strange drop-outs, or unexpected tempo changes. So listening to the EP isn’t easy, you need to really listen. A little attention is going to give you huge rewards. And once you’ve done that frankly you can go back and just fucking rock out, because they work on that level as well.

Lyrically the words are important in these songs. This is ‘heavy’ music and I mean heavy in the sense of thoughtful and important. And yes, the music is heavy but there’s light and shade. The way these tracks are put together is, to say the least, impressive. REMARK can really play, the vocals are fantastic. What’s going to stand out, at least the first couple of listens, is the guitar. The guitar grinds, it squeals, no sound is left unused but it all hangs together. And then, at least for me, I started to really take notice of the drumming, bloody hell, this is great.


So the EP opens with ‘Comeback’, its somewhat ominous start is really going to set you up for the EP. And oh boy do I love the Soundgarden vibe. And then yep there’s a bit of quiet loud alt rock, but wait it’s going to drop-out and then wind-up, but wind-up slowly in fits and starts, and then there is guitar, guitar that screams.

So you might think you have the measure of REMARK but nothing – if my review didn’t make you go and listen to it of course – is going to prepare you for ‘Purple Haze’. This is drama. So yes, it might start like an alt-rock track BUT then what the bloody hell is going on, it rocks, it rocks hard, and then it suddenly all drops out and it’s spooky. It grinds like Black Sabbath on drugs.

REMARK impress with their renditions of Tears for Fears’ ‘Shout’and Alex Clare’s ‘Too Close.’ Both tracks open with acoustic passages leading to some nasty straightforward alternative rock-grunge combustion.

The point of a review, I guess, is to try and tell you whether you should get the thing being reviewed. So should you listen to, and actually get REMARK’s EP? Yes, emphatically yes. This isn’t easy music, it’s music that you need to actually listen to properly, it’s difficult and complex. But that makes it more rewarding, it means you can listen, and listen again, and then listen again without getting everything that’s going on. It is a many layered thing.


These songs are the sound of a band making their own music and doing it brilliantly.

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