A lattice of coincidence

RepoMen – Occasional Sensations

There are days when all you want is some shrimp (in a plate). Others, you just want a can of generic beer and generic food. In a whole different set of days, you just feel nostalgic and take out the albums (or click on those terabytes of photos you’ve uploaded to Facebook).

After a few flicks (or clicks), you let a few sighs and maybe get in touch with a couple of people. Or make sure that they never hear back from you again. I can never remember what I do.

Still, memories are powerful and that usually is the driving force in any “greatest hits” compilation. So now it’s the time for Sheffield’s eternal underdogs, Repomen, to get their “best of” in a single package, an album called Occasional Sensations.

With that title, you know they do have a spot of self mockery (and gallows’ humour), and, to be fair, you need it in the unforgiving world of music. One day you are a hot property, next one you’re just an afterthought (or a punchline).

It’s an interesting compilation, as the evolution both in sound and recording of Repomen is here, displayed on a mantle top made of 20 songs. You get the punkier pieces for slam (like the surf friendly ‘Reel me cuber’), punk for pogoing and shoving (‘Out of here’), straight out rockers (‘Ride’, ‘Star’, enjoying the guitar work here), baggy anthems (‘Parallel Schizophrenic’) and even some slower moments, like ‘Lauren Bacall’.

Showing that punks have a heart too (except Frank Carter, fuck him), there’s a lot of melancholy and concern mixed with the some humour (‘She’s in love’ has a great twist). You even get an straight out slow piece with ‘Violet’, the sad moment in the album (with a music box on tow).

But the (musical) slower moments are rare, this is a group with a vivacious live show (saw them twice at The Grapes) and a true punk attitude, so no time to lay down and feel depressed, it’s time to rock out the power chords, pogo and take out the cars from people who don’t pay.

Occasional sensations is a trip down memory lane for a group that hasn’t hit it big, but doesn’t mind so as they are obviously enjoying the music they are making. All their songs are well crafted, with enough punk attitudes that at times are at odds with a soothing voice. They sometimes let their guard down for the odd ballad or so, which is good to show range. It’s been a long road for the Repomen while driving a classy Chevy Malibu (all wearing matching hats to booth). Let’s hope they get some recognition with this one.

With that said, I’d like to add “Pernicious nonsense! Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year! They oughta have ’em, too.”

Words: Sam Otto.

Links Myspace. Bandcamp. Facebook. Last.fm.

Extra bit: Are there any pecan pies in the back?

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