Rebuilding the Rights of Statues — Watch Out! Climate Has Changed, Fat Mum Rises...
(Modern Sky M-035, 2009, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01
The band with the awkward name has released an album with a name even more awkward. The band is generally called Re-TROS, and I'll call the album Watch Out. Since their 2005 release (Cut Off!) contained only six tracks, this is their first full-length effort, and it's a dark and smoky affair, reminiscent of Joy Division, Gang of Four, Television, and the like. The uncompromising music consists mostly of a bass / guitar / drums trio, with the male / female vocals of guitarist Hua Dong and bassist Liu Min contributing the most distinctive aspect of the band's style. Hua's Byrne-like declamations are dominant and insistent, while Liu's more melodic tones provide contrast and counterpoint. Occasional other instruments (including some outstanding avant-garde sax) add color, but the players are interesting enough that these are pure icing; the lack of a superstar guest like the debut's appearance by Brian Eno is not a problem. Hua's guitar playing is as distinctive as his singing, at times minimal and rhythmic, at times howling feedback; Liu's bass is equally versatile, sometimes fuzzed and insistent, sometimes fluid and melodic. Drummer Ma Hui rounds out the trio with muscular parts that are full of unconventional accents and are sometimes modified and augmented with electronic effects. While the band's tempos and volume levels may vary, the atmosphere remains dark and moody. The lyrics are often elliptical, but full of menacing images and evocative phrases. An all-around outstanding release, one of the year's best.
Related artist(s): Rebuilding the Rights of Statues (Re-TROS)
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Il Tempio delle Clessidre - Il Tempio delle Clessidre – If you yearn for 70s Italian prog, rejoice as this genre is alive and well with the next generation of bands. The best is Il Tempio delle Clessidre (Temple of the Hourglass) whose name is a reference... (2011) » Read more