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Remembrances

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Album Review

The complement to Words on Music's reissue of the band's two full-lengths, Remembrances scoops up a slew of singles, rarities, and demos. It's a classic patchwork compilation that features plenty of missteps, but what works shows off the band's passionately dreamy post-punk nicely enough. The opening "Leonardo da Vinci" is definitely in Big Music territory with all the echo and aim at grandeur, almost laughably so. But by the time of their demo version of "History Part 1," a purring keyboard part and heavy drumming helping back vocals nodding less to Bono and much more to Robert Smith, things start to take a clearer and more enjoyable shape. Various solo or duet demos abound, such as Mark Bandola's "Come Back to the Living" and "The Twister," as well as snippets of bedroom recordings among a bulk of tracks from the band's own basement rehearsal studio. They generally favor keyboards and the rhythm section in practice, turning the songs into something almost approaching what would later be called minimal wave given the basic demo recording quality. One early song, "Kill the Beast," features guitarist Peter Barraclough's sole released lead vocal, a reasonably restrained breathlessness, while his demo for "The Lady Lies There" starts off serenely before becoming a frenetic clip of late-'70s synth hyperactivity backing his singing. The collection concludes with two 1993 cuts from a planned reunion EP of sorts — it's not quite grunge or shoegaze but it's interesting to hear a rougher guitar tone at work on "She's Going Down" alternately with a bit of dreaminess.

Remembrances, The Lucy Show
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