REVIEW: isle of wight natives reminders remind us that they’re not to be ignored with 'carousel'
Self-identified ‘beach punk’ trio Reminders have released their latest single, "Carousel." It’s their third since being picked up by the label Burger Records, and my favourite so far. From the drumbeat opening that punches you straight in the gut like any punk song worth its salt should, to the final refrain of “does the carousel ever stop…” I could not stop headbanging and punctuating the lyrics with hand choreography (much like lead singer Leo Dyke can be seen doing in the music video).
I admit, I was concerned the sound I loved would be lost. However, Carousel is full of the cliché-in-the-best-way, angsty vocals that make you want to shout alongside the band, coupled with the rousing accompaniment from bass player Theo Afsarian and drummer Harry Spencer. They keep the essence of their band, perfectly represented in their independently released EP Water Sports and Major Cities, in this new song. They masterfully transport you to the band’s birthplace, the funfair filled Isle of Wight. Then, almost immediately, they make you want to leave that seaside town in the same breath.
The best part of the song comes in at 1:57 when Leo makes what I hope becomes his signature noise. It makes me wish it could be translated into words, but I promise you, it is brilliant and worth listening to entire song for just that moment. It’s nestled in the middle of lyrics I cannot wait to be shouting when seeing Reminders live. There is no doubt that the vocals will shine even brighter than they do in the studio recordings. The instruments, which I admit I do not know enough about the mechanics of, makes me want to throw myself about and start a riot. I cannot be still when they’re playing and, to me, that means they’ve done their job. It fills me with excitement at the thought of hearing it live. "Carousel lends itself to live performances. I can hear the crowds belting lyrics, their loud voices biting out “do the losers ever start winning?” with such vigour, then continuing that aforementioned angsty vibe with “I’d tell you that I’m fucked up and pissed off, that I’ve got nowhere to go,” in the small venues punk, and now beach punk, thrives in.
Reminders put forward the image of an ever-spinning carousel to lament the monotony of life. It’s this idea that we’re all “trapped between these four walls,” and recognising that we can all be “too loud to apologise, too proud to step down, too dumb to rationalise.” It’s simple, something universal, yet it doesn’t feel old or played out. The song still feels raw and personal to the band, further lending itself to live performances. They’re sharing this feeling with us, through every element of the song, for us to go “I’ve been on that carousel, too!” It brings familiarity, bridging the gap between band and listeners.
The talents of every member are displayed in this song, laid bare for our ears to take in, more so than I’ve heard from them before. It’s solidified my belief in just how far this band can go. If my endorsement isn’t enough, take the facts that they have already been backed by the surviving members of Ramones, performed on the main stage at the 50th Anniversary of the Isle of Wight Festival and featured by BBC Radio One and Spotify. I’m certain the accolades will continue.
It slots into their previous body of work as well as propelling them forwards into this new stage of their career. The execution of the song is fresh but still utterly identifiable as Reminders. It promises more in terms of what’s to come within the beach punk genre whilst paying homage to when they started out in 2017. If I were you, I’d start listening to them now. Be a part of the beach punk uprising.
I hope this carousel never stops spinning.
Reminders can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Their music can be streamed anywhere you listen to music. Catch them out on tour this spring - their run through the south of England starts in April!