Reviewed by Allyssia
Released last week, Remind Me The Reason I Came is the newest EP from Make Your Exit, a Toronto rock outfit. Packaged in an envelope that almost too pretty to open (Seriously, it is. I’m lucky that I got a digital copy too because my unopened copy is still sitting on my shelf and will likely stay there until…well for a long time), their sophomore EP is a great example of acoustic rock that manages to sound both familiar and new; comforting and exciting. Lost already? Allow me to explain.
At first, the tracks on this album seem like your typical mix of mellow acoustic guitar and simple percussion, but it isn’t long before the band catches you off guard by doing something unexpected like, oh I don’t know, injecting the round sounds of the alto sax, played by Oliver Pauk, the band’s talented saxophonist. But right when you get used to this surprise instrument, the band throws another curve with the unexpected addition of the subtle, bell-like xylophone, an instrument most of haven’t even thought about since third grade music class.
One of the key differences between Remind Me The Reason I Came and Make Your Exit’s debut EP is that on this effort, the band actually has a lead vocalist. The one filling this position is Jeff Buckley, the band’s lead guitarist. His vocals are clean, understated, and casual. They’re nothing special but they don’t have to be to get the band’s message across. His tone and expression are enough to get across the emotion and sentiment of each song. On some tracks his unique drawl adds a lot to the song, like on “Leave This Town”, which always takes me to another place. Here his vocals make it seem as though the song is a conversation with the listener which makes the listening experience both more personal and more enjoyable.
Though Buckley’s singing is a highlight, it’s when the band members sing in harmony that the vocals truly make you stop and listen. A great example is on “What We’ll Miss,” when the whole band chants “Remind me the reason I came.” I’m sure that fans will be singing along with this one for a long time to come.
But for all the interesting harmonies and instruments on this album, it’s very easy to zone in and out while listening to it. A key example of this is during the almost entirely instrumental track “Smokes and Lint.” Though the song is upbeat and does a great job of showcasing Pauk’s saxophone skills, it couldn’t hold my attention for the entire 3:45.
When I interviewed the band, Buckley told me that he just knew in his heart that the music they were creating was very interesting. That gut feeling was right. Remind Me the Reason I Came is an extremely listenable, unique album unlike anything I’ve listen to before. If you’re feeling relaxed or would like to, break out the ol’ CD player and give this gem a listen. If you’re a fan of sound, you won’t regret it.
Top Tracks: “Leave This Town”, “Kids”, “What We’ll Miss”
3.5 Hoots (out of 4) + *swoop*