As I've written at length about before, bands in the pop punk/emo world often start out young, so it's not uncommon to see a band with a relatively straightforward pop punk debut start going in adventurous new directions as their career progresses. Remo Drive started doing that on last year's underrated Natural, Everyday Degradation, which saw them going in a much prettier, cleaner, more classic-pop direction than their 2017 debut Greatest Hits went in. I compared the jump from Greatest Hits to Natural, Everyday Degradation to the one Saves The Day made from Through Being Cool to Stay What You Are, and with the just-announced A Portrait of an Ugly Man, Remo Drive just may have made their In Reverie.

Lead single "Star Worship" goes in even more of a shimmering, jangly pop direction than Natural, Everyday Degradation. They tapped into classic rock, desert rock, and Spaghetti Western scores as influences, and you can hear all of that coming through on this old-soul, wise-beyond-its-years song. "I wanted to get back to playing guitar the way I used to, and then throw songwriting on top of that," said vocalist/guitarist Erik Paulson. "On the last album, I approached playing guitar in a more songwriter-y way. I had really scaled it back so it wouldn’t be as hard for me to sing and play simultaneously, but the guitar is way more forward again now." Like last year's Natural, Everyday Degradation companion EP Natural, Everyday Extended Play, it was self-produced, and it finds Remo Drive advancing as producers as much as they're advancing as songwriters.

I'll also add that the new song reminds me a little of Okkervil River, or of another underrated emo-friendly folk rock band I was just writing about this morning, Dear and the Headlights. It's a great song, and you can check it out below. The album drops June 26 via Epitaph.

With no tours happening, Remo Drive are among the many artists doing livestreams, and they have three this week. Details below.

Tracklist
1 - A Guide To Live By
2 - Star Worship
3 - Dead Man
4 - If I’ve Ever Looked Too Deep In Thought
5 - The Ugly Man Sings
6 - True Romance Lives
7 - Ode to Joy 2
8 - The Night I Kidnapped Remo Drive
9 - A Flower and a Weed
10 - Easy as That

Remo Drive Livestream Schedule
Tuesday, April 28: Audiotree / 7:00 - 7:30PM EST
Wednesday, April 29: Sennheiser / 4:00 - 4:30PM EST
Thursday, April 30: Consequence of Sound / 4:00 - 4:30PM EST