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Album Review

The first Remora album in some years, Enamored finds its main man (and Silber Records honcho) Brian John Mitchell steering away from blissout — or a more violent version of same — in favor of generally lower-key songs in a murmuring, melancholic vein. If anyone is Mitchell's vocal forebear on Enamored, it might often be, say, Leonard Cohen or Calvin Johnson, a dark but not overbearing approach, though set against lovely arrangements that call to mind the most delicate moments of bands like Flying Saucer Attack, late-period Slowdive, or the Durutti Column. The opening song sets a basic template, with bass and vocals leading the way before a spiraling guitar part slowly descends from the heavens, and from there Enamored — punning title doubtless fully intentional — wends its way for almost a full hour with many variants on the general approach. When Mitchell lets the sheets of feedback back in, as on the instrumental "Sorry" or "Bad Person," it often is as much texture as raison d'être, a fine balance of impulses that perhaps reinforces the Flying Saucer Attack comparisons but does so with grace. Meanwhile, the vocal-led numbers tend toward the stripped down, with the gentle, gloomy progression of "Kill My Way Out of Here" suggesting a murder ballad in the 21st century. The vivid imagery of "Let It Die on the 4th of July," like "Kill My Way" based on the Killraven comic character, similarly aims for restraint musically, with softer, higher singing and treated acoustic guitar sounding more like early-'90s lo-fi than anything else. "Legends," meanwhile, finds yet another tack, almost sounding jaunty — Mitchell almost showing a bit of a twang — though the haze of acoustic and electric guitar creates a queasy, slow-building arrangement. A technical note: initial pressings of the album have a much different track listing to the one printed on the back cover.

Enamored, Remora
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