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Remora - Scars Bring Hope Remora - Scars Bring Hope
CD Album 2011 | Silber 097
12 tracks, 48 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (320 kbps, ~106 megs))
Remora returns with both it's special brand of post apocalyptic pop & guitar drone in a full band setting.  The most commercial Remora release to date.  In the vein of Some Past's Future & Enamored.  From post punk to post rock & always post apocalyptic.

: Listen to the track My Brother's Guns & Knives
: Press Release

Track Listing:
Awake Arise, Let Me Die with a Coin in My Pocket, Does the Music?, Nevada Smith, My Brother's Guns & Knives, Let's Fall in Love, Peanut Butter Cup, Protector of Builder of Airplanes, We Come from the Sea, Static is Motion, The Future of Man, Angel Falling through Water

This is the most fully realized Remora album to doubt the result of it being (a) the first to be recorded in a professional recording studio and (b) produced by Brian Lea McKenzie (of Electric Bird Noise). These songs were played almost entirely by Brian John Mitchell along with some assistance of various instruments by McKenzie. Mitchell is one of those guys whose music is so real and so effective that it almost seems impossible to think that (at least up to this point in time) he's an underground icon. About three hours' worth of demo recordings were initially created. Of that material, McKenzie chose 12 tracks that ended up becoming the album. These songs are moody, complex, atmospheric, and ultimately very personal statements. Twelve groovy underground tracks here including "Awake Arise," "Nevada Smith," "We Come From The Sea," and "Angel Falling Through Water." We can't help but think that if these guys were living in Europe they would already be major celebrities. But never mind that. Apparently creating music is what matters here...with money and fame never being the main motivator. (Sure wish all artists had this much integrity.) We've never heard a Remora release we didn't love. If you've never heard the band before this is an excellent starting point... TOP PICK.
~ Babysue

Another album by Brian John Mitchell’s own platform, but this time the first to move out of the DIY setting of the previous releases and into a studio ‘proper so that the usual scuffed edges are given a little more sheen’. As with much of Remora’s other work, a firm love of those areas where atmospheric post-punk meets post-rock are proudly exemplified by the slo-mo late night candle-burn melody refrains and insular vocals that narrate stories with all the bitter delivery of a heart having been ripped out and dissected. While the rhythms generally shuffle along, stories concerning alien invasion or dedicated, in one case, to H.P. Lovecraft’s people of Innsmouth, sit restlessly besides Remora’s more typical fare of failed love or hopes gone sour unfold as layers of guitar and other sounds drive them along. At times, a vague waft of Michael Gira’s solo works can be snatched within the overwhelmingly bruised and sometimes slightly more confrontational approach ensnared on the endearingly titled Scars Bring Hope, but I’m being purposely lazy here in order to hopefully encourage a few people to the world Remora occupy. And this album is a mean way to get yrself acquainted.
~ Richard Johnson, Adverse Effect

Remora is the moniker of Brian John Mitchell, who is responsible for almost everything in this album of post-psychedelic, post-punk underground pop (as my "My Brothers Guns & Knives" demonstrates). Mitchell is assisted only by Brian Lea McKenzie of Electric Bird Noise, who gives a hand with a few instruments as well as some technical aspects of the recording.
The vocals are unremarkable for the most part, but they do manage to convey a certain truth and even enchant on tracks such as the hypnotic, repetitive "Does the Music" ("...make you feel close enough to god to wanna fuck me," its chorus continues, in case you were wondering).
The music, while often drone based and static in its compact nature, does manage to flourish by alternatingly utilizing various instruments (guitar, bass, piano, organ, trombone, glockenspiel, mandolin, banjo and percussions) to create interesting sounds and eventually give each track a surprising shade of its own. We prefer the tracks on which a tuneful dimension is added to the basic line, such as "The Future of Man," which celebrates decay in a festive fashion (with a calm flugelhorn-like feature and an unfolding arrangement) and reminded us of the music of Thee More Shallows due to its apocalyptic dream rock.
~ Avi Shaked, Maelstrom

Brian John Mitchell (aka Remora) has been releasing deeply personal guitarrorist attacks upon an appreciative audience for fifteen years now and Scars Bring Hope finds him returning to the guitar-based post rock that were the cornerstones of Some Past’s Future (2000) and Enamored (2005).
Appropriately titled opener ‘Awake Arise’ is essentially a one-note drone, reminiscent of vintage Smog, while ‘Let Me Die With A Coin In My Pocket’ continues his post-apocalyptic pop sensibilities, and the hypnotically repetitive round ‘Does The Music?’ introduces swirling organ flourishes to the fray. The country soft-shoe shuffle ‘Let’s Fall In Love’ even tosses in a perfectly placed glockenspiel to vary the arrangements and lift us out of the depths of despair that permeate much of the remaining material – from improvised songs about peanut allergies recorded on the beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (‘Peanut Butter Cup’) to other ditties about murder, death, guns, knives, chaos and decay.
‘Nevada Smith’ is a frightening, wall-of-sound guitar onslaught that does Michael Gira proud and will please Swans fans, and I danced myself into a frenzy with the Joy Division-cum-New Order-ish ‘My Brother’s Guns and Knives.’ If you’re a fan of the apocalyptic doomsday rock of Swans, Lycia, and Nick Cave, or the dark Americana of Smog, Dead Leaves Rising, and Pale Horse & Rider, this is an album you’ll want in your collection. There’s even an epic, 13-minute, Azusa Plane-ish guitar drone (‘Angel Falling Through Water’) that’ll rattle your fillings and threaten to knock the pictures off the walls in your listening room.
Last but not least, Mitchell lists his guitar tunings so you budding guitarists can play along at home. The rest of us will just crank our headphones up to 11 and feed our heads with one of his strongest (and most accessible) releases to date.
~ Jeff Penczak, Terrascope

Remora is the main alias of Silber Records honcho Brian John Mitchell. In 15 years, the man has cover a lot of ground, and Scars Bring Hope, while featuring only new material, kind of sums up past experiences. Inside you will find post-apocalyptic folk songs, drones, and electronic music. Helped by Electric Bird Noise’s Brian Lee McKenzie, who dragged him out of the bedroom and into a proper recording studio, Remora delivers an album more definitive-sounding than usual, a good point of entry into his universe – a dark, fallen universe with very little hope left.
~ François Couture , Monsieur Delire

Brian John Mitchell's Remora, whose 'Derivative' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 697. I wasn't blown away by that release. Guitar playing, singing, loop effects. Singer songwriter stuff, but then with more power. Songs are about such things as the end of the world, alien invasion, resurrected soldiers, the Cthulhu mythos and love songs. Perhaps all not stuff I would greatly care about, but then I am known to never paying much attention to the lyrics anyway. What leaves then is the music: endless strumming, lots of effects, drum machines banging and dark vocals. Post apocalyptic pop, as the label says, but as I have great expectations not to survive any sort of apocalypse, I could hardly care what we hear after that. Not really my cup of tea then.
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

A blessing of a Remora album, ‘Scars Bring Hope’ sees Brian John Mitchell bring the solo guitar drone project out of lo-fi bedroom recordings and into the studio with Brian Lea McKenzie (of Electric Bird Noise) at the producer helm, focusing three hours worth of demo tape into a sci-fi themed concept album.
‘Awake, Arise’, thematically based around the resurrection of a soldier, has all the eeriness and creep of previous Remora tracks but with a fuller richer sound thanks to some studio magic, the melancholic atmosphere ploughing steadily into ‘Let me Die with a Coin in my Pocket’.
‘Does the Music’ meanwhile provides us with a somewhat off kilter approach to a love song, with the repeated lyric “does the music make you feel close enough to God to want to fuck me” overlaying a haunting organ chime, helping the track stand out from other tracks on the album while staying true to the whole’s underlining experimental outlook.
Similarly ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ channels a whiskey soaked Americana approach to romance, with Mitchell channelling the musical drunken swagger and drawl of Johnny Dowd.
Taking influence from more esoteric elements, ‘We Come From the Sea’ muses acoustically over the Cthulhu mythos, remarkably creating a powerful and poignant track despite its pulp content while ‘Static is Motion’ expresses the end times via a straight forward ambient sound space of low tones and minimal percussion with the fantastically named ‘Angel Falling Through Water’ ending the album with a thirteen minute post apocalyptic soundtrack.
Silber has been releasing content and albums that have always proven them to be a good source of contemporary abstract music, with a sound and style similar to those halcyon days of Industrial Records, here’s hoping that ‘Scars Bring Hope’ helps shine a beacon on an underrated artist as well as an underrated label.
~ Michael Byrne, Left Hip

Remora’s Brian John Mitchell, hereto known as a purveyor of lengthy pieces of 12-string guitar abuse, has made his most commercial-sounding, life-affirming record yet with Scars Bring Hope.
“Life-affirming!” I hear you cry.  “With a title like that?”  So okay, the album contains songs named “Let Me Die With a Coin In My Pocket” and “My Brother’s Guns & Knives,” but there’s something I always find uplifting about songs wallowing in abject despair, especially when they’re so masterfully executed as they are here.  Mitchell’s voice–not often heard until recently–falls somewhere between that of The National’s Matt “Baritone” Berninger and the deadpan drawl of his fellow glum bard, WHY?’s Yoni Wolf.  Musically we’re in post punk territory–there are hints of Joy Division as well as more modern acolytes of that sound like Interpol and to some extent even the U.K.’s Editors.  Both of those bands have achieved no small amount of chart success and as far as I’m concerned the highlights on Scars Bring Hope are up there with anything those bands have released.  There are limitations here of course–Silber Records is no Capitol, and the production is far from glossy (it’s not meant to be)–but in terms of song craft, heart and soul it’s often top-notch.  You get the feeling that with a little exposure, if the right people hear the right songs, and if the artist himself is that way inclined, Remora could be huge.
The album does have a tendency in places to become a little one-note and there are times when tighter quality control could have come into play.  I can’t say I’m particularly enamored with “Does The Music?” and “Peanut Butter Cup” is nothing more than a slither of (undeniably humorous) filler, but there are genuine moments of excellence throughout.  “Let Me Die With a Coin In My Pocket,” “Nevada Smith,” “My Brother’s Guns & Knives” and the blazing “The Future Of Man” are all superb–easily as good as any mainstream indie rock hit I’ve heard in 2011, and far better than most of what clogs up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.  How fans of early Remora react remains to be seen, but Mitchell leaves them with something they’ll be more familiar with to finish the album.  “Angel Falling Through Water” is a thirteen-minute drone work that suggests he’s not quite finished with that side of things yet but which fits so well with the rest of Scars Bring Hope that it makes you think he could turn his hand to almost anything and come up with the goods.  Really great stuff.
~ Steve Dewhurst, Foxy Digitalis

There may be different kinds of albums. Simple and plain that have a single idea behind or no idea at all or it may be a bucket of various ideas combined together in a full length masterpiece. To my shame, I haven’t heard about Remora. Anything, ever. It didn’t come out as a recommendation or “must-have” or anything similar. Yet, when listening to this album I thought “how have I never heard it?”
The name Remora may be considered from different points. First, Remora is a kind of fish. On the other hand, it is not just a fish, but a mythological character, the one that was said to have various powers, like it had enormous strength of three elephants and intelligence of ten, being able to understand the words… And in case she falls in love, she may bring the gold from the depth. But that’s all the mythology. Here, back to the real life, Remora is a band, actually a one-man band, of Brian John Mitchell (one of those behind Silber Records, by the way) and Scars Bring Hope is a work guided by Brian Lea McKenzie, engineer and producer that selected songs from three hours of demo tapes in order to produce the most polished album of Remora to date.
It cannot be characterized in a simple way, because it is not that simple. I guess it is the album that has a bucket of ideas and more than that, styles combined together. I would like to cite a press release as it describes pretty well and briefly the main topics of the songs: “The songs from Scars Bring Hope all tell stories: sci-fi pulp about resurrected soldiers (“Awake Arise,” “Let Me Die with a Coin in My Pocket”), the end of the world (“The Future of Man,” “Static is Motion”), alien invasion (“My Brother’s Guns & Knives,” “Angel Falling through Water”), the Cthulhu mythos (“We Come from the Sea”), the story of a cowboy becoming a soldier of fortune (“Nevada Smith,” “Protector of Builder of Airplanes”), & the trademark twisted love songs (“Does the Music,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Peanut Butter Cup”).
I was glad to have an opportunity to enjoy this incredible variety of sounds. We can hear the echoes of the past decades in post-punk themes and a bit of concerned and felt-through vocals; we can see the traces of apocalyptic folk and pop; we can feel the spirit of freedom and hear roaring upcoming waves of guitar passages of post-rock music. And sometimes it turns into the ambient and drone nearly cosmic abyss of sounds, like Static is Motion, which certainly doesn’t have either the end or the beginning. And even when it is changed into another track you are free to imagine and think and feel. All the sounds are very thick, dense, maybe messy sometimes, but still very expressive and affecting, moving.
Interesting thing – Let’s Fall In Love reminded me of The Appeal of Discarded Orthodoxy (A Tribute to David E. Williams). And my personal favorites would be: The Future of a Man for its multilayer sound and little sonic surprises during the way of the track; Angels Falling through Water, as it is kind of disturbing and has this piercing-through effect; My Brother’s Guns & Knives for the life, energy and motion it accumulates and gives to you in the process of listening (it is a paradox in a way: the track itself is pretty monotonous, especially taking the vocals in the account, still it is very moving, as if someone tried to combine tranquility and motion and did a good job); and the last would be Let’s Fall in Love for just being filled with light and hope.
~ Elena ZG, Heathen Harvest

Remora (Brian John Mitchell) reminds me of the infamous Jandek, the abstruse, Texas-based sub-underground songwriter who’s been regaling the world with one homemade, dissonant, idiosyncratic album after another for over twenty years. Mitchell’s fifteen year career may not be as prolific as Jandek (no one’s is) and his songs may not be as abstract or as abrasively incongruent as Jandek (no one else’s are), but the sheer size of his musical cajones is something to be admired on the same level as the J Man. The basis of Remora’s music is a minimalist link between the wonders of uncluttered melodic pop music ideals and a dark, murky meta-post-punk gothic angst. “Awake Arise” is scary good, like a Melvins improv jam and it could go on for hours, and the uplifting and simultaneously dirge-like “Let Me Die With A Coin In My Pocket,” shouldn’t even work on paper, and yet on record it’s an exceptional tone poem that darts between searching and forlorn and Hell. “Let’s Fall in Love” goes kind of post-alt- country in an acidic way, “We Come from the Sea” is Bailter Space-like gut churning anti-pop about the Cthulhu mythos, and there’s another song that’s too good to spoil here. It just has to be heard. The guitar playing is mostly unhinged from any form or model, and it often sounds as if it’s being invented as you hear it, with only enough aural material to barely hold the song together. This guy should definitely have a bigger audience among the experimental music crowd, at the very least. I’ll continue to do my little part to try to make that happen.
~ Anthony Mark Happel, Impose

Remora returns with both it’s special brand of post apocalyptic pop & guitar drone in a full band setting.  The most commercial Remora release to date.  In the vein of Some Past’s Future & Enamored.  From post punk to post rock & always post apocalyptic.
~ Jen Stratosphere, Delusions of Adequacy

Dark and droning sounds slip thickly out of Scars, with hints of post rock and darkwave, yet with demented twists, like Daniel Johnston singing lead for the Swans, or Joy Division and Saqquara Dogs mixing it up with a fresh take on depression and psychedelics. Waves of sound pulsate, but with a melody and rhythm to move it forward, and lyrics that make you smile yet feel kind of sad at the same time. Sometimes you feel a little creeped out, but it works, reminding me of my youth, sitting around, smoking cloves, listening to Death in June and the Tear Garden. Oh, those were the days!
~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover

Remora's by nature are parasitic.  Clinging to the backs of other aquatic animals in hopes of acquiring food these creatures live their life attached to a host.  Remora the band isn't quite like that, but some would say clinging on to the music scene for fifteen years is a bit parasitic.   Having been around for ages playing minimal, nearly ambient, post everything guitar music, Remora have kind of made a name for themselves by making strange music for strange people and their latest album, Scars Bring Hope is really no different.
Sounding like a gothic Beat Happening on large amounts of lithium the they moan their way through Scars Bring Hope as if the world was ending.  Ambient passages and minimal guitar works blend into wondering post apocalyptic sing alongs for lost souls.  It's epic, minimal, and downright frightening.  Washed out guitar noise careens off strange lyrics, strange sounds echo around the environment,  and a world of eerie atmospherics sets up Scars Bring Hope as being a very diverse and strange album.
Pop music this is not...but rather the sound of Remora's nightmares put to sound.  This is Brian Eno as a manic depressive, The Beat Happening not happening, this is the sound of tortured artistry coming to fruition.  It's a bizarre and spooky ride and the kind of thing that will have you calling for priests if you listen to it on headphones.  I'm not sure if I like Scars Bring Hope but I enjoyed the experience.
~ Paul Zimmerman, The POP! Stereo

Remora is the band of Silber Records owner Brian John Mitchell. He released an impressive number of albums since the late 90s. I have to admit that I have been never a huge fan of the project for being too experimental to my taste. “Scars Brings Hope” doesn’t really sound as a break with their earlier work rather than a more compact songwriting.
Remora sounds less experimental on this CD although the merge of psychedelic guitar play, a kind of post-rock inspiration and even a few shoe-gaze elements and neo-folk approach sounds rather difficult to label as an established style. The use of guitar and bass next to classical instruments like horns, organ and piano plus some Theremin effects on top was masterly executed by B.J Mitchell and producer Brian Lea McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise). I personally enjoyed the more shoe-gaze inspired “Nevada Smith”, the neo-folk touch running through “We Come From The Sea” and the excellent, but more experimental “The Future Of Man”.
A last word has to be said about the lyrical content of the album. Remora keeps on telling little stories dealing about the most imaginary and unbelievable themes like the end of the world, alien invasion or the strange life of a cowboy becoming a soldier of fortune.
Remora remains pretty weird, but damn efficient on their “Scars Bring Hope”.
~ Side-Line

Remora is actually solo Brian John Mitchell posing as a droned-out darkwave apocalyptic brainstun of nasty futures, isolation, doom, and psychological distress resulting in stultified near zombie-ism. There are elements of Peter Hamill (Van der Graaf Generator, solo), Gary Lucas (Capt.Beefheart, solo), Legendary Pink Dots, David E. Williams, Brian Eno's rock pieces reduced to Ramones status, and quite a few other prog and near-prog eccentrics. The atmosphere in Scars Bring Hope is mid-fi, appropriate to the smoking-ruins ambiance of all the drear imagery and downer narratives running through alien invasions, psychotism, weird love, and even C'thulhuvian creepiness. Too, I suspect Mitchell's vocals are more what Huw Lloyd Langton has been trying for and not capturing, kind of a seriously gobsmacked and stunned Bunny & the Echomen in monotone.
Scars is most definitely not for everyone, Bangles aficionados will commit suicide within the first 30 seconds, but old Saqqara Dogs / Bond Berglund fans and Wall of Voodoo followers will find much in the way of an art-ified follow-on. Too, those who dug Spot and some of the edgier strange-pop cats will grin at the constructions here and might even chuckle darkly at the Daniel Johnston-esque Peanut Butter Cup. Don't even think of coming to this CD in a good or even pensive mood unless you like the notion of running the danger of turning into a golem, a gloomy troglodyte, or a grade school English teacher. The Future of Man gets into a vaultingly orchestral grandeur, but it's still a matter of transmigrating from one disaster to another, and, by the time the disc shuts down with the nervous Angel Falling through Water, you're glancing about, looking over your shoulder, jumping at the creaks and groans of the house settling in for the night, and wondering if watching The Exorcist mightn't be a good way of relieving the stress.
~ Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

During a fifteen year recording career Brian John Mitchell has pursued his own musical vision as Remora whilst also establishing an impressive roster under his own Silber Records imprint. As one might expect based on the Silber catalogue, his solo work (assisted by engineer/producer Brian Lea Mackenzie) is made up of very dark materials and the title of the new Remora record, ‘Scars Bring Hope’, prepares the listener for what is to come.
‘Awake Arise’ is less a polite introduction to the Remora thought process, it’s more an assault on those with a nervous disposition as keyboards, percussion and vocals merge to form a throughly demonic experience. The song which succeeds it, ‘Let Me Die With A Coin In My Pocket’ is another gruelling, sludgy swamp of a song leavened by an strained but heartfelt vocal from frontman Brian John Mitchell. Both tracks tell the tale of resurrected soldiers.
Elsewhere, there’s evidence of Spiritualized’s gospel-influenced rock (‘Does The Music?’), twisted country-inflected love songs (‘Let’s Fall In Love’, ‘Peanut Butter Cup’) and elongated instrumental experiments (‘Static In Motion’, ‘Angel Falling Through Water’). The constant is Remora’s familiar brand of psychedelic drone, of which the chilling ‘Nevada Smith’ is the most effective.
However exhausting, apocalyptic and impenetrably dark this music is, it is also undeniably involving. This is the sonic equivalent of a good horror film, which is full of inevitable doom but impossible to turn away from.
~ Leonard's Lair

“Remora” refers to a sucker fish that latches onto other fish such as sharks for transportation and uneaten leftovers. Why Brian John Mitchell of Raleigh, NC chose this name is a mystery, although several of the songs on this CD have sea references or sounds (7, 9, 12). Amidst the guitar/bass/piano/organ/drums/pipe/theremin/glockenspiel drone 6 stands out as an upbeat love song, 4 refers to a 1966 Western film, and 10 and 12 are instrumental. Lyrics are enclosed in case if you can read tiny printing, but Mitchell’s voice is fairly clear.

You will probably smile as you make your way through the muffled drone of "Awake Arise," at least if you are a Remora fan, because that song, which opens the new  "Scars Bring Hope" disc, is clear, inspired and confident. After fifteen years of skittish vocals, often unglued guitar explorations and disjointed genre-hopping, Remora's Brian John Mitchell still has plenty of ideas, and he is still willing to throw them all out there
"Let Me Die with a Coin in My Pocket" has a melody that is slightly baroque, though the mono-chord is still the foundation.
Who cares what the song sounds like; "Does the Music?" features one of the more jolting lyrics you'll hear this month:  "Does the music/make you feel/close enough to God/to want to f*ck me." As for the music? A simple subversive Gregorian melody.
 The jaundiced, country-esque "Let's Fall in Love" hardly makes one feel like doing so; a classic of sarcasm. Mitchell adopts a muffled, semi-harrowing Plastic Ono Band feel for the equally jaded  "Peanut Butter Cup."
Both "Protector of Builder of Airplanes" and "Static is Motion" are haunting and brilliant, but for different reasons. "Protector" is epic in its poetry and understated use of gritty guitar. "Static" is ambient guitar as it was meant to be: emotional and vibrant even in its minimalism.
Produced by Brian Lea McKenzie of the equally enigmatic Electric Bird Noise, "Scars Bring Hope" is a more than apt title for the latest Remora. Brian John Mitchell is a genius who has been collecting scars and sounds for over a decade, and turning both into beautiful, biting music that does give one hope, at least for more music from Remora to counter the inspiration-free mainstream offerings.
~ Mike Wood, Music Emissions

Dark but also pretty and noisy rock. I’m not sure if this is the proper descriptor, but I would call this drone rock. Really cool stuff that channels late Swans - baritone, sick vocals and lush, but noisy plods. The percussion doesn’t rely on traditional snare dominance or anything like that. I can definitely hear some no-wave and Joy Division in there too. Indie rock friendly, but also for those of us who reside in the dark, twisted caverns of alcoholism and regret. Check it out. FCC on track 3, 7.
1. Dark insistent plod with chanting vocals, electronics and subtle noise. (3:04)
*2. Strummy pretty guitar, big sick downer anthem, somewhat straightforward percussion and accessible(?) choruses. (3:25)
3. Organ sustained drone, too many FCCs. (1:59)
*4. Out-Interpols Interpol here, with a bruising droning guitar pattern, and continuously threatening to erupt. (4:11)
5. Lo-fi, industrial drum machine glaze, marching 1/8th note bass march, a rhythmic, nasally wail. (3:25)
6. Sleigh bell cutesey, slick, organy Magnetic Fields. Really poppy. For you indie poppers. (3:46)
7. Found sounds by the ocean, awkward a capella strangeness. FCCs - don’t play it. (1:43)
8. Double tracked drawl behind some simple bass, celestial, swirling effects. (2:42)
9. Maybe Angels of Light is closer here - banjo, western ¾ gallop and whistle, but still with a Gira feel. (2:48)
*10. Trippy ambient guitar twiddling and layering over a sustained guitar drone. Here’s the late night track for you. (4:58)
*11. Another great rhythmic, lush plod with some distinctive trumpet, noodly electronics, and double tracked baritone command. (3:46)
12. Long, looped, drone piece that layers distorted guitars and pretty feedback. DJ awyeh is going to play this like 50 times. (13:14)
~ Adam Pearson, KZSU

Remora's by nature are parasitic. Clinging to the backs of other aquatic animals in hopes of acquiring food these creatures live their life attached to a host. Remora the band isn't quite like that, but some would say clinging on to the same music scene for fifteen years is a bit parasitic. Having been around for ages playing minimal, nearly ambient, post everything guitar music, Remora have kind of made a name for themselves by making strange music for strange people and their latest album, Scars Bring Hope is really no different.
Sounding like a gothic Beat Happening on large amounts of lithium they moan their way through Scars Bring Hope as if the world was ending. Ambient passages and minimal guitar works blend into wondering post apocalyptic sing-along’s for lost souls. It's epic, minimal, and downright frightening. Washed out guitar noise careens off strange lyrics, strange sounds echo around the environment, and a world of eerie atmospherics sets up Scars Bring Hope as being a very diverse and strange album.
Pop music this is not...but rather the sound of Remora's nightmares put to record. This is Brian Eno as a manic depressive, The Beat Happening not happening, this is the sound of tortured artistry coming to fruition. It's a bizarre and spooky ride and the kind of thing that will have you calling for priests if you listen to it on headphones. I'm not sure if I like Scars Bring Hope but I’ll never forget the experience.
~ The Pop! Stereo

Remora is the musical project of Brian John Mitchell who runs Silber Records. A term that has been attached to Remora's music is 'post-apocalyptic pop', which aptly encapsulates the bleak, dark, twisted sounds on offer here. Awake Arise combines brooding post-punk with spacey electronic sound effects. Let Me Die With a Coin In My Pocket is a pained, introspective song part way between janglepop, shoegaze and post-punk, with some effective atmospheric use of horns. Does the Music? features repetitive, twisted lyrics over an atmospheric drone backdrop. Nevada Smith sets warped, dark lyrics to appropriately harsh noise instrumentation. Let's Fall In Love is a piano-led piece combining Americana and DIY indiepop. Its mood is one of the most optimistic here, with its positive lyrics and sprightly glockenspiel, yet it is still shot through with that sense of darkness that basically characterises the Remora sound. Peanut Butter Cup is a bizarre lo-fi pop song made even more bizarre by the fact that its backing 'music' is the sound of a storm. We Come From the Sea is a tough one to categorise: lyrics inspired by H P Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos are wrapped up in a characteristically bleak melody, accompanied by an inventive musical concoction that sounds like a mix of sci-fi and cowboy movie soundtracks. Static is Motion is an experimental instrumental combining rumbling noise, woozy droning and a chiming guitar melody. The Future of Man incorporates some effective, almost neoclassical, trombone repetition into a pessimistic lo-fi pop/post-punk piece. "Wisdom's wasted on the wise/For there is no future of man/There's no hope, just decay/Creation leads solely to chaos", sings Brian in deep gothic tones, before the piece reaches an immense crescendo with its huge wall of atmospheric noise, including touches of spacey synth, and an ominous ticking sound that makes one expect an explosion right at the end of the track, but instead it just stops abruptly. The album ends with the epic 13+ minute instrumental Angel Falling Through Water, a harsh and unsettling noisescape combined with minimalistic post-rock. A deep, complex and challenging album by an artist who does not follow other people's rules.
~ Kim Harten, Bliss/Aquamarine

Già detentore di cassette e album a proprio nome, il progetto di Brian John Mitchell - Remora - ritorna con "Scars Bring Hope" all'impegno e all'ambizione di "Enamored" (2005), ad oggi probabilmente il suo acuto migliore.
Dopo l'introduzione di "Awake Arise", un ostinato ribattente alla Swans, con cui dà prova di maneggiare anche altri strumenti (piano e elettronica) oltre alla sua intransigente chitarra acustica, la raccolta spazia da incalzanti industrial-folk, incupiti come sotto una tempesta fatale ("Nevada Smith"), a stomp-country dall'ampia cantabilità ("Let's Fall in Love"), persino a boogie gotici che mimano dei Joy Division in bassa qualità ("My Brothers Funs and Knives").
Ancora lo spettro di Gira emerge nel raga mistico di "Protector of Builder Of Airplanes", che sembra uscito da un tardo disco degli Angels Of Light, mentre l'anima di Leonard Cohen irrora tanto "We Come from the Sea" che "Future of Man".
Il paesaggio lisergico di "Static Is Motion" è un breve preludio ai tredici minuti di pulsazioni e vagiti di "Angel Falling Through Water", sorta d'inno strumentale ciclico sperduto in una nebbia cosmica, a mo' di "amen" o di "om", in cui confluisce l'intera opera.
A parte i riferimenti a David Tibet o Matt Elliott, quello del canadese Mitchell è un giroscopio stilistico con la magia di tramutare o camuffare le tinte monocromatiche in palpiti accesi, e di stirarle dal privato ramingo fino alla visione grandiosa. Ultimo fiore all'occhiello del suo roster, Silber Records, da one-man label a etichetta internazionale di tutto prestigio.
~ Michele Saran, Onda Rock

Settembre 2011 vede l'uscita di "Scars Bring Hope" ultimo album di Remora alias Brian John Mitchell prodotto da Brian Lea McKenzie.. lo ricordiamo come parte attiva della Silber Session "Electric Bird Noise" ovviamente in collaborazione con la Silber Records!
Dedito occasionalmente alla pittura e ad esperimenti video, Remora inizia la sua avventura nel 1996 in North Carolina dove sviluppa un proprio stile musicale..assolutamente dicotomico tra ballate folk, post-apocalyptic pop & drone e un sound ambient talvolta minimale e ripetitivo, lo stesso sound che oggi ritroviamo in "Scars Bring Hope".
Dodici tracce in un fluttuare di note armoniche accompagnate da una serie di strumentazioni tra cui l'organo, chitarre, basso, pianoforte, batteria e non solo..una voce calda e attraente segue un percorso sonoro che attraversa una diversità di generi che va dalla Drone music sino ad includere elementi Folk, Rock e Post punk.  Attualmente Mitchell sta lavorando su due nuovi Ep e presto avremo sue nuove, nel frattempo ascoltiamoci il suo viaggio musicale in "Scars Bring Hope" ..assolutamente da non perdere!
~ Alone Music

Bisogna assolutamente constatare come "Scars Bring Hope" dei Remora sia un coacervo di svariate e differenti ossessioni. Questi musicisti mischiano ed amplificano all'inverosimile post rock e sperimentazione. Il sound è un magma vorticoso dove non si nutre nessuna speranza di pacificazione. Tutto è lotta all'interno di questo vorticoso lavoro. La chitarra sprigiona note alterate e fumose, i brani sono la rappresentazione palese di una plateale passione per l'arte più disarticolata...Ombre fumose si addensano su queste spericolate composizioni, nulla brilla, tutto è oscuro e protetto dalle tenebre. La presenza costante di una particolare forma di anestesia totale pervade "Scars Bring Hope"...Apprezzo come Remora si mostra e spinga a proteggere la propria specie, una specie difficile ed irta di ostacoli. Non è facile l'ascolto di questo cd, ma la difficoltà risulta essere (in fondo) tutta la sua sperticata bellezza oltraggiosa...Brillantezza speziata e disarticolata, introdotta da vorticose manie di drastica depressione. Questo e molto altro è in mostra in questo delicato prodotto, delicato come le piogge minacciose di primavera...
~ Claudio Baroni, Musica