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Repomen - Reel Me Cuber / Eyes on the Road

  by John Clarkson

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

Repomen - Reel Me Cuber / Eyes on the Road
Label: Repomen
Format: CDS


When the Repomen recorded their debut CD EP 'Lights Out/She's in Love' at the end of last year, they recorded for it two electric and studio based tracks, which they dubbed 'A Sides', and also tagged

When the Repomen recorded their debut CD EP 'Lights Out/She's in Love' at the end of last year, they recorded for it two electric and studio based tracks, which they dubbed 'A Sides', and also tagged on the EP's' end two 'B Sides', which were acoustic and recorded live. The A sides, which had abrasive punk guitar lines and jagged melodies, were reminiscent of the Buzzcocks, while the B sides 'Take Away' and 'It's So Easy' had a melancholic and swampish blues sound. It was a winning and successful format, which attracted the Sheffield based band glowing reviews in various publications, including this one and Record Collector, and which won for it airplay, both on French radio and also in Britain on local stations and Steve Lamacq's Radio 1 Evening Session. The band, which consists of Pennyblackmusic writer Denzil Watson on vocals, Ric Bower on 12 string guitar and piano, Simon Tiller on bass and James 'Yozza' Hughes on drums, have now returned with a second EP 'Reel Me Cuber/Eyes on the Road'. The new EP, like its predecessor, once more is "double A sided" with two electric studio tracks, and also features two other acoustic and live songs, but there otherwise all similarities end. Rather than simply recreate the formula of the first, the band have chosen to go for something, which is radically different than 'Lights Out/She's in Love'. More diverse in tone, it shows off in splendid style other further sides to the Repomens' increasingly eclectic sound. 'Reel Me Cuber' draws comparisions with the Teenage Fanclub with its jangling and pealing guitars, rumbling drums and harmonious backing vocals. It is an effective and convincing opener, but it is the second song, the epic 'Eyes on the Road', and the band's 'November Rain', which proves to be the EP's masterstroke. It begins simply with Watson backed just by Bower's pensive and fluttering piano. "Cut my arm trying to haul you out/Much as I hate you I couldn't let you drown/You look so pretty crying in the rain" he lilts, capturing in a few moments the humilation and awful claustrophobia of a relationship which has long gone rotten, but in which neither party can quite bear to let the other go. Almost halfway through its five minute running length guitars and drums are suddenly and surprisingly thrust in, building the song up through an increasingly discordant and strident maelstorm of noise to a dynamic and powerful conclusion . The third song 'Stella' finds the band switching direction again, and Tiller swopping instruments to the double bass and both Bower and Hughes moving to acoustic guitars. More whimsical and lighter in tone than the previous two songs, it is reminiscent of the early Kinks with its dreamy, faintly hazy sound and its naive and surreal storyline about a love gone wrong three years before, but now at last about to work out. The last number , 'Grey Suits', has the band changing tempo one last time. A diatribe against the facelessness of corporate management, and a cry for individuality, its features ghostly backing vocals and the talents of "honorary Repoman", Geoff Russell, a member of a local Sheffield surf band the Special Agents on "big organ". Acoustic punk thrash, it brings the EP to a sharp close. This is a good and a solid record, well executed and perfomed by an increasingly confident band, both at home in the studio and on the stage, and who are brave enough to experiment, to break barriers and to successfully diversify. The Repomen hope to put out their third record in the Spring. With songs as strong as these, it can't come fast enough.

Track Listing:-
1 Reel Me Cuber
2 Eyes On The Road
3 Stella
4 Grey Suits

Band Links:-

Visitor Comments:-
56 Posted By: Paulw@online.net, Braintree on 01 Jan 1900
Eyes on the Road - if you haven't heard it then you seriously need to buy this CD! It's epic man!
4 Posted By: Fanny Shawe, Oxfordshire on 01 Jan 1900
The Repomen seem to be coming of age. I've been listening to them for a while now, both live and recorded and they have a back catalogue of some excellent and varied songs, some pure punk raw energy, others more thought provoking, softer, ballads. The variety can seem bewildering, but the result is you'll never get bored and the Repomen do not seem to fit nicely into any conventional musical filing cabinet. And in these days of manufactured pop, I like that. It's real music. Rock and roll with soul. There is something for everyone here and you should always expect the unexpected from this fast maturing Sheffield group. Live performances are always entertaining and I've heard better and better songs emerging over the past months as they really do seem to be honing their craft and creating their own unique place in Sheffield's music scene. Reel Me Cuber is certainly one of the best songs they've written, a song that unfolds and expands, growing and blooming into a masterful piece that truly does reel you in (yeah, corny line I know, but it really is a great song). I hear there's a new CD due out befeore the end of 2002 with all the best stuff to date, which promises to be a good listen. And if the Cuber / Eyes 4 track is indicative of what's to come, these guys will be well worth keeping an eye out for for some time to come. Oh, and I've given this 4 stars because I'm a stingy so-and-so and I think there's even better to come...

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