Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rema-Rema - Wheel in the Roses

Once again, I'm not quite sure how I first discovered Rema-Rema, but I definitely went through a noise phase in the early 80's (actually starting earlier when I discovered the Velvet Underground) that I never outgrew and I was - and still am - a big fan of the goth releases on the 4AD label. This 4-song 12" was the band's only release as the group dissolved when guitarist Marco Pirroni went on to join Adam and the Ants while the others went on to for Mass, Physic TV and others.

Opening with a plodding bass line, the appropriately titled "Feedback Song" delivers on the promise of its name as layers of guitar feedback squeaks'n'sqawls'n'squails'n'wails along with keyboard blips'n'bleeps over a Bauhaus-ish vocal line. This blends into their theme song, "Rema Rema", a driving beat that would probably be considered a "rocker" were it anyone else, but with plenty of cacophonous chaos, and lyrics chanting their name repeatedly in a ridiculously catchy way! I could listen to this over'n'over'n'over!

Flip over the vinyl and more stratum of feedback envelop the deceptively titled "Instrumental", as it does have (minimal) lyrics over a pulsating synth/drum beat. Ponderously slow, "Fond Affections" is probably the most darkly "goth" number of the set here, although it continues to have waves of turbulence throughout its groaning melody.

Obviously, there was plenty of caterwauling history for this combo to drawn upon, but I think this is one of the first noise band releases, other than, say, Metal Machine Music, which was simply disquietude, and no band, or even music. Great, great stuff!