title: Wheel in the Roses
label: 4AD Records
personnel: Mark Cox (organ, synthesizer), Michael Allen (vocals, bass), Gary Asquith (vocals, guitar), Marco (guitar), Max (drums)
tracklisting: feedback song, rema-rema, instrumental, fond affections
a veritable post-punk supergroup (almost), Rema-Rema sported Marco Pirroni (Adam and the Ants) and Gary Asquith (Renegade Soundwave) in its line up. more importantly, however, is the fact that Rema-Rema was one supergroup that actually lived up to the billing.
recorded live, ‘Wheel in the Roses’ is a fabulously tense affair. the plodding, repetitive drum and bass riff of ‘Feedback Song’ creeps along, overlayed with whooping electronics, some superbly executed sarcastic vocals, and, of course, lots and lots of controlled feedback. using all the same ingredients, the title track ups the tempo slightly for a dense, menacing slice of what is still half-speed synth punk, and ‘Instrumental’ (not a descriptive title), continues the trend of pushing treated guitar and synth noises to the fore. finally, ‘Fond Affections’ slows everything right down again for a grandiose and quite affecting song that sees Mark Cox’s unique synth pulses get gradually drowned out by seering slabs of - you’ve guessed it - guitar feedback.
rema-rkably consistent in their excellence, the fact that Rema-Rema never made a full length album may well have been one of the UK post-punk scene’s greatest losses.
erik - www.cultwithnoname.com