Live Review: Remnants

Oddfellows Concert Lounge  Wyandotte, MI 

Contact: [email protected] 

Web: remnantsmi.bandcamp.com 

Players: Adam Quiroz, guitar, vocals, synthesizer, tambourine; Nathan Adermatt, guitar; Jude Biggs, bass; Michael Ellerman, drums

Material: Shades of guitarist Mike Keneally, math rock, progressive emo and Radiohead, this young and accomplished quartet weaves their web of avant garde rhythms, tempos and thematic concepts into a cauldron of sensory delights. Remnants defy classification, yet retain a relatable sound just the same. Despite the complex nature of the material, their beautiful melodies and indigenous grooves shine through. For example, “Demo Song” is somewhat experimental, but the trance-like themes emanating from the two guitarists draw you in. The full sound and impassioned vocals on “Houses Down By the Water” connect, as well.

Musicianship: Adam Quiroz is primarily a guitarist, but serves the band’s overall sound as a solid utility player on vocals, keyboards and hand percussion, as well. Fellow guitarist Adermatt provides excellent interplay on solos and rhythm. Their work together creates interesting collages of auditory color. Bassist Biggs has an appropriately deep and clean tone that fills out the bottom end rather nicely. He also plays between the notes and creates compelling textures and tension. Michael Ellerman’s drumming walks that delicate line between conformity and chaos. He keeps the tempo in line, but can step out, tastefully, at a moment’s notice. 

Performance: The band erupted from the chute, but was mired, at first, by a somewhat muddy mix. No reflection on them, they quickly adapted and powered through the opener “Demo Song.” “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia” followed with odd meters and a jazzy feel. The use of dynamics here really showed the restraint and ability of the band to listen to, and work with, each other. “Reflections” was interesting due to Quiroz’s switching from guitar riffs to synthesizer passages. There was a spacey sonic structure created that was inventive and trippy. “Houses Down By the Water” and the finale “The Right Rig” were noteworthy for their shift from eerie voodoo-like meditation to near cacophonic meltdown.

Summary: Remnants are an interesting progressive rock band that refuses to be locked into one lackluster category. They’ve got their own sound rooted in all that is artistic, far-reaching and visionary. Guitar aficionados will surely appreciate the level of tasty shredding engendered by Quiroz and Adermatt. Jazz-fusion buffs and fans of bands like Tool should dig Biggs’ and Ellerman’s precise and intricate beats.