Last week, here in the UK, we suffered through a heatwave. The kind of heatwave that makes you wish you were living on the beach, heightened only by the fact that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and are banned from our nearest sandy shores. However, Reminders couldn’t have chosen a better time to release their latest beach punk offering, "Seaside Scampi."
The fact that it was released during a heatwave is fate, I think, considering the song itself was written about a girl lead singer, Leo Dyke, had a fascination with during the heatwave of 2017: “I can’t help but reminisce about hanging out with friends on beach right now,” he says, and I can’t help but be transported to the beach when I listen to their music. It makes you think of those times you’ve had feelings for someone, and it’s been completely one-sided and naïve.
This song first appeared on their demo EP, All Talk, No Action, released in 2018, and if my memory is correct, I believe I heard them play it when they supported DEAD! also back in 2018… when both DEAD! and gigs were still a thing. They say of the re-recording: “I’ve always loved the youthful, naivety of the song, which is a fan favourite at our shows so we re-recorded it in isolation, which was fun!” Hearing the progression of the band from these two songs is amazing, you can tell they’ve found their sound.
Like all their songs, "Seaside Scampi" was written with the Isle of Wight, and more specifically a local fish n’ chip shop, as the background. In previous release, "Carousel," we found out how monotonous life was working at the funfair but in this, we see a more personal and vulnerable side of Reminders, set to edgy riffs that get your heart going much like having a crush does.
The lyrics start by telling us that “you weren’t worth my time,” but goes on to explain how infatuating this girl was, anyway. You can hear just how powerful these feelings were, from the strength of the music coupled with how the lyrics are sung. Dyke found himself eating copious amounts of scampi after every shift at the funfair whilst trying to make his move over a few months, which were unfortunately unsuccessful. They lament “there’s a feeling in my veins, there’s a fever in my brain,” and “daydreaming one day I’ll be safe next to you,” in true romantic-punk fashion.
The last thirty seconds of "Seaside Scampi" are something special. The almost unclean vocals, that are teased throughout the former two and half minutes, and instruments that sound like they’re about to fall apart in a moment’s notice really push this song to its peak. I can see all three members on stage when I’m listening, all falling to their knees, playing their respective guitar and bass with bleeding fingers and playing the drums so hard the skin will begin to tear. It speaks to the longing he experienced for this girl and how all-encompassing those feelings can be. “Looking back within this COVID-19 event,” Dyke says, “the song meaning is hilarious (and dumb), but also a reminder that the simplest things in life can be taken away from us, like a standard meal at the chippie.”
There’s a lot of good that has come from the release of this single, also. Most notably, the ‘Beach Punx Fund’ they’ve set up, where £1 of everything sold through their website will go towards helping three organisations the band support, in the hopes of making a positive change. “We discussed this whilst recording this track as our recording studio is located a stone’s throw away from Osborne House, which the Queen bought from slave traders. I think lockdown has been a lesson in history for us as we look back in time into our own musical roots and the island’s dark past,” so by supporting the single, we’ll see donations going to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK, Mind, and Surfers Against Sewage.
"Seaside Scampi" may be about a failed lust story, but the song itself is not a failure. It’s bursting with everything that makes Reminders a band to take notice of. This is one you’ll want to be adding to your summer playlists to blast when you dream of being at the beach.