Wallows is an alternative/indie band composed of Dylan Minnette and Braedon Lemasters on vocals and guitar and Cole Preston on drums. Their brand new EP “Remote” was made available on all platforms on Oct. 23, 2020. Although Dylan Minnette has been Wallow’s main focus since the band formed in April 2017, shortly after his starring role in the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”, Remote manages to show off each member’s individuality and talent, while still maintaining their band’s soft pop / rock sound.
“Virtual Aerobics”: The first track starts off with a charming acoustic melody, followed by Dylan Minnette’s usual lead vocals and rhythm guitar. While starting slowly at first, it picks up quickly as it evolves into a catchy, light upbeat tune. It also sets an optimistic and cheery tone for the rest of the EP.
“Dig What You Dug”: Like the previous track, Dig What You Dug starts off with a simple melody, but instead jumps into a harsher, more techno sound with pounding drums and more backup vocals. The song’s opening line, “you’ve never wanted all the friends you got, turned into someone that you know you’re not” is ironically sung with the previous track’s upbeat and dancy style, which repeats itself in the first and final verses. This song keeps the same consistent melody for each verse, with a bland bridge that makes the song seem somewhat monotonous.
“Nobody Gets Me (Like You)”: This track has an infectious melody with lyrics sung by both Lemasters and Minette, singing about how “I’ve seen so many faces, I couldn’t tell the difference, I need a girl like you, you’re the only difference.” While Wallows may generally blur the lines when it comes to what genre their music is and the sort of vibe they give off, this song will bring you back to remembering that they are a boyband for the sort of “post-boyband” generation.
“Coastlines”: With a different approach than the previous tracks, “Coastlines” starts off with strictly vocals and soft background instrumentals, while it gradually builds up and introduces drums until it hits the main chorus a little over a minute in. What makes this song standout from the others is its heavy bass and the repeating lyric, “I don’t wanna think about it,” at the beginning and ending of the song’s bridge and chorus. Despite getting a tad repetitive, the song’s saving grace would have to be its bridge, which has the most memorable instrumentals in the entire song, before going right back to heavy bass in the final chorus.
“Talk Like That”: While being the shortest song on “Remote”, this track left the longest impact: Starting off with what sounds like acoustic guitar and steelpan drums makes this song stand out from the rest on the EP, as well as its catchy chorus: “Cut my heart in half, give it back when you talk like that, probably all in all, if they call, get a heart attack.” If there are any songs on Remote that you would end up humming to yourself for the rest of the day, this would definitely be it.
“Wish Me Luck”: Wallows certainly saved the best for last with Remote’s final track: Wish Me Luck has the calmest and softest sound on the entire EP. Minnette’s voice sounds smooth and blends nicely with the background instrumentals, which also makes it a very easy listen, without the harshness coming from the booming techno sound of the bass. It’s also fortunately the longest song on Remote. Wish Me Luck was a great choice to end the EP with – a soft and almost melancholic sound that leaves the listener feeling joyous and calm.
Wallows’ first release of 2020 was much like the year 2020 itself: Widely anticipated, yet ended up disappointing. Minnette and Lemaster’s smooth vocals were unfortunately not enough to save the EP; each song’s chorus consisted of a booming base and repetitive lyrics, which made “Remote” seem somewhat monotonous. When compared to their 2018 EP Spring, it has a much calmer sound, and really utilizes acoustic instrumentals. If I were to recommend any music from Wallows, I would definitely tell them to give that EP a listen before “Remote.” Being a fairly new band, Wallows is still evidently searching for their perfect sound, but this one just isn’t it.
Spinnaker rates this album 2.5 out of 5 sails.
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