‘Like A Stone’, Remember Sports’ third album for Father/Daughter Records, finds the Philadelphia-based indie rockers examining how it feels to break away from old versions of yourself while trading instruments throughout – resulting in a dynamic and shape-shifting sound that dips into all kinds of genres.
The record opens with recent single ‘Pinky Ring’, a piece of power pop that asks the fateful question ‘Wasn’t I good to you?’ This is followed by the 40-second blast of ‘Coffee Machine’ before ‘Sentimentality’ finds the band back in the jangly guitar pop soundscape with observation about falling in and out of love: ‘I can feel you breathing next to me’; ‘I’m hoping I don’t try to get away from sentimentality, fuck things up too bad, because you’re the best thing I had’. We heard elements of The Beths in the punk-rock riffs that fill the surprisingly heartbreaking ‘Easy’ (‘Talking softly about the way things used to be’) while ‘Eggs’ has a groovy bass-line and more of an art rock edge before heading into a surprising country direction. You’d have a heart made of stone if the final line – ‘You asked if I needed you, I can’t need you enough’ – doesn’t break it.
‘Materialistic’ is altogether more melodic with dreamy vibes backing up the fears over actions (do you really need to send that message?) before ‘Like a Stone’ finds Remember Sports falling in a spot that sits somewhere between The Postal Service and The Dismemberment Plan as they come to terms with a difficult situation: ‘I finally cried about it last night’. There’s an assertive desire on show with the definitive statement ‘I pull myself together again’. ‘Clock’ continues this honest storytelling with the plea to ‘make something good’, while ‘Falling Awake’ is a vibrant piece of punk with the message that ‘I need you right now’. ‘Flossie Dickie’ keeps up the pace and again has lyrics that we can all relate to – ‘I am tired’.
The penultimate ‘Out Loud’ is the longest song on the record, clocking in at almost seven minutes, opening in breezy emo-pop fashion before heading into something more (gently) experimental. There is a lot of sadness in the lyrics although the desire to move forward eventually wins out with various members of the band declaring ‘Don’t stop, never give up, trying to get everything out’ towards the end. ‘Odds Are’ closes the record in acoustic-based country fashion as the band again make a change for the better (‘I just can’t let you in again’) and decide – with a healthy dose of pride: ‘I’ve gotta move on’.
With touchpoints ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Hop Along and Alvvays and songs about important topics including faith, insecurity and hope, this is a record you’ll remember for a long time to come.