The Remote: Too Low To Miss
Global Underground

All experience is inescapably hermeneutic, including musical listening. In my case, it's impossible to broach The Remote's Too Low To Miss without The Knife's Silent Shout and Burial's self-titled release rattling around in the background, so thoroughly have the two releases infiltrated the textura bunker the past few months. The point's not incidental because The Remote's fine release would sound even finer were it not heard against the background of the other two though it's worth also noting that virtually any other release would be similarly affected when heard in this context. In fact, that Too Low To Miss sounds as great as it does is an obvious compliment to group members Ashley Casselle, Ben Lost, James Christopher, and Asad Rizvi.

The Remote deftly injects subtle hints of goth, industrial, and punk into its haunting decadent electro-disco mix, with the songs boosted by Lost's quintessentially English vocal croon. Teeming with ultra-crisp drum programming, stabbing guitars, synth atmospheres, and potent hooks, the 50-minute album is also strengthened by a mix-like presentation that finds each cut flowing into the next without interruption plus the interjection of an occasional instrumental into the vocal terrain (the panoramic guitar funk of “Right Meat” and surging anthem “The Greatness of Nothing” show The Remote's non-vocal cuts are hardly filler either). The brooding late-night overture “Pretty Girls Make Mothers” opens the disc evocatively but the anthemic stomper “She's Going Out Tonight,” a driving clubber spurred on by a grinding bass line and Lost's intoxicating vocal, bursts the album wide open. Soon after, the slimy electro-funk swinger “Creeps” offers up what might be a defiant group manifesto (“Stand up, fall down / We are the ones that you'll never give a shit about”) but two of the album's strongest moments lie ahead: “Like You,” where a distorted vocal croaks its verses when its buzz-saw choruses aren't kicking up their glam heels, and the pounding “Please Change your Mind,” which exits the album in grand style.

October 2006