Re-TROS: Before The Applause

review retros x1 cong

Re-TROS were formerly known as Rebuilding The Rights Of Statues and, for entirely sensible reasons, have shortened it for this new album.

They’re one of those Chinese bands (or Korean, or whatever) we sometimes get to review, copying Western rock but with the addition of quirkiness — something always gets lost in cultural translation.

The internet says they were competent at aping New Order / Cure type rock, but disappeared without much trace. This new one is a completely different kettle of sushi. That we’ve got a review copy suggests hopes are held, and highly, and it’s fun and entertaining.

Musically it’s somewhere between the space rock of Hawkwind and world jam bands such as Goat and Holy F, psychedelic dance / rock with electronica thrown in.

After a brief intro, Hailing Drums is the first proper song, and reminded us of the bands we already cited, a groove-laden rock instrumental funky tune that’s got some space freakery to it. Like Canadians Holy F, it’s possible they use real instruments to sound electronic. The vocals are low and in among the instruments.

Red Rum Aviv goes at bit B52s, courtesy of choppy guitar and female vocals, though it keeps the space rock groove, while 8+2+8 is solid krautrock in the style of Neu! or Can.

Centrepiece is the 12-minute At Mos Phere, a never-ending house / electronica track that demands remixing. If only Rob da Bank was still on R1 to play it.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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