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Repomen - Path of Least Resistance

  by John Clarkson

published: 30 / 5 / 2016

Repomen - Path of Least Resistance
Label: Phantom Power Records
Format: CDS


Fine thirteenth EP from inventive Sheffield-based band RepoMen who have just celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary

RepoMen are a Sheffield musical institution. The group has just played its twenty-fifth anniversary gig, and has the official status of being that city's longest-serving indie band. There have been over the years twelve previous EPs; two studio albums, ‘Songs They Never Play on the Radio’ (2006) and ‘I’m Only Doing This Because I Like Your Robot’ (2014), and also a 2011 compilation, ‘Occasional Sensations’, most of which have been released on vocalist and keyboardist Denzil Watson's own Phantom Power Records. The band, which also consists of Ric Bower (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals), Simon Tiller (bass, backing vocals) and James Hughes (drums), started out as a pop punk outfit, but have since then embraced a variety of genres including Americana, pop, folk and post-rock into their music. 'Path of Least Resistance' finds RepoMen both returning to their early roots and again stepping into new territory. The crisp title track combines Bower and Tiller’s jangling guitars and Hughes’ bouncing drums to create an indie funk sound that recalls That Petrol Emotion. There has been often a sharp storytelling element to RepoMen’s songs, most of which are composed by Bower, and Watson relishes in the role of an elusive and shadowy underworld figure called in by ‘respectable’ people when all their other legal options have failed. “I’m deadly but I’m your best chance of getting out alive,” he sneers as an opening line, and later on “It scares you to see the things that I normally try to hide.” ‘Cycle of Dreams’ in contrast is a heart-breaking ballad. It starts gently and hazily, before swelling upwards to incorporate a discordant grunge element, and then drifts away before pounding up again. “Wears me down/Tears you out/You know I love you but I have nothing to talk about/I need to listen/You have nothing to say,” sings Watson plaintively, capturing the anguish and sadness of a couple in the final stages of their relationship. The third song, ‘Shoot Me’, is without doubt the most sinister song that RepoMen have ever recorded in their long career. Told from the perspective of a man waiting execution at the hands of a criminal gang, it starts by combining spoken word lyrics with distorted, jazzy rhythms. The music largely pushed forward by Hughes’ deranged drumming is propelled upwards, as Watson playing the song’s terrified narrator pleads for a swift death. “Shoot me in the back!/Shoot me in the back!” he shouts, capturing his protagonist’s terror. After all the turmoil and bleakness of the preceding tracks, ‘Path of Least Resistance’ is concluded with ‘Like the Stars’, an anthemic and soaring love song which shows a softer side to RepoMen. ‘Path of Resistance’ is another fine offering from a band which twenty-five years into their career have remained continuously inventive. Long may they continue!

Track Listing:-
1 Path of Least Resistance
2 Cycle of Dreams
3 Shoot Me
4 Like the Stars

Band Links:-

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Interview (2015)
Repomen - Interview
John Clarkson speaks to Denzil Watson, the front man with durable Sheffield indie act RepoMen about 'Occasional Sensations', which is a documentary film about them, and their recent album, ‘I’m Only Doing This Because I Like Your Robot’
Interview (2011)
Interview (2004)
Interview (2002)

live reviews

Casbah, Sheffield, 27/10/2003
Repomen - Casbah, Sheffield, 27/10/2003
The Repomen have never played London. Olga Sladeckova, therefore, decided to make the trip up to their hometown of Sheffield to catch their latest gig, but finds it definitely worth the four hour journey


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Repomen - Ten Songs That Made Me Love...
John Clarkson writes about his ten favourite songs by ReopMen, who were Sheffield's longest-serving indie band.



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