Wallows’ new EP Remote (Deluxe) falls flat


The band Wallows’ new EP Remote (Deluxe) has received mixed reactions, falling short in some areas while excelling in others. Credit: Atlantic Records.

Noelle Villasenor, Writer

After mixed responses to Wallows’ 2020 EP Remote, the tri-member band composed of Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston has returned with a deluxe edition of the release. Though it struggles to live up to its phenomenal 2019 album Nothing Happens, it strengthens itself with three brand new tracks for an all-around enjoyable listening experience.

As someone who has been a follower of Wallows for almost two years, I was keeping up with the release of their new EP Remote (Deluxe), but I honestly wasn’t expecting much after the standard edition release in October. It contained some of the band’s best work with songs such as Coastlines and Wish Me Luck, but the majority of the other tracks fell short.

The sound of Remote (Deluxe) is quite different from Wallows’ previous work. While they have largely stuck to the typical themes of indie/alternative rock, this new EP features elements of funk-rock, which is quite new for the band. This is the element that, in my opinion, they lacked; while artists exploring new musical genres is a good thing, it isn’t always executed perfectly.

There were four songs that I felt truly stood out on Remote (Deluxe). Tracks two, four and six, titled “Dig What You Dug”, “Coastlines” and “Wish Me Luck”, which were featured on the standard edition of Remote, and track two on the deluxe edition’s B-side, titled “Quarterback”, are fantastic songs which best capture aspects of Wallows’ older sound while also bringing to light a newer style of the band in a significant way. “Coastlines” is one of my favorite songs that they’ve ever released, and I hope they continue to produce songs like it in the future.

On the other hand, tracks such as “Virtual Aerobics”, “Nobody Gets Me (Like You)” and “Talk Like That” stuck out to me as songs I probably wouldn’t listen to again. They weren’t bad by any means, but I felt that they strayed too far into the realm of 80’s style funk that seems to be trending in music these days, and in doing so they lost the core of their band’s original sound and style. 

Other tracks on the EP’s B-side, titled “On Time” and “Another Story”, weren’t necessarily my favorites but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Their March 2020 single “OK” featured on the EP was another strong work from the band and a vital re-release on Remote (Deluxe).  

All in all, I’m still excited to see what Wallows will do in the future. Though Remote (Deluxe) isn’t my favorite work of theirs, it was a bold step in displaying a new side of musicality from the band, and I admire them for that. I would recommend this EP to those who have an open mind to different styles of alternative music, but for new Wallows listeners I would suggest listening to their 2018 Spring EP and 2019 album Nothing Happens before delving into the songs on Remote.

What do you think?