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)
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more