During a fifteen year recording career Brian John Mitchell has pursued his own musical vision as Remora whilst also establishing an impressive roster under his own Silber Records imprint. As one might expect based on the Silber catalogue, his solo work (assisted by engineer/producer Brian Lea Mackenzie) is made up of very dark materials and the title of the new Remora record, ‘Scars Bring Hope’, prepares the listener for what is to come.
‘Awake Arise’ is less a polite introduction to the Remora thought process, it’s more an assault on those with a nervous disposition as keyboards, percussion and vocals merge to form a throughly demonic experience. The song which succeeds it, ‘Let Me Die With A Coin In My Pocket’ is another gruelling, sludgy swamp of a song leavened by an strained but heartfelt vocal from frontman Brian John Mitchell. Both tracks tell the tale of resurrected soldiers.
Elsewhere, there’s evidence of Spiritualized’s gospel-influenced rock (‘Does The Music?’), twisted country-inflected love songs (‘Let’s Fall In Love’, ‘Peanut Butter Cup’) and elongated instrumental experiments (‘Static In Motion’, ‘Angel Falling Through Water’). The constant is Remora’s familiar brand of psychedelic drone, of which the chilling ‘Nevada Smith’ is the most effective.
However exhausting, apocalyptic and impenetrably dark this music is, it is also undeniably involving. This is the sonic equivalent of a good horror film, which is full of inevitable doom but impossible to turn away from.
Silber Records Label and Shop Site
Abandon, Monday Morning Sun