Record Reviews

November 1st, 2011 Higher Duties (Rave Magazine)
One of the joys of watching Brisbane’s Re:Enactment perform live is the gleeful and manic way they jump between a diversity of styles: from fist-pumping electro-pop (like a more intelligent Presets) to dark, bass-driven post-punk in the space of a single song. Still, sometimes you want them to master their schizoid stylistic divisions and create one song – just one – that demonstrates how all of the band’s component parts work together. Well, ask and ye shall receive. Higher Duties – the second single from the band’s début album Sport – is exactly that song, marrying an excellently-dirty bassline with sweet pop vocal harmonies and a driving beat (complete with cowbell!). The overall effect is paradoxically wistful – it reminds me most of the kind of sweet retro-nostalgic work that VHS Or Beta used to put out, but with a charming layer of lo-fi scuzziness to ward off any hint of slickness or emotional insincerity. There’s a particularly good part here where one guitar’s walls of groaning, clanging feedback are met with a clean, Edge-like stadium guitar line, and the whole concoction is topped off with an organ solo. On paper it sounds like altogether too much, but the appeal of Higher Duties is precisely that Re:Enactment can pull off the improbable and somehow make what should be a hot mess anything but.

May 17th, 2011 Sport (Rave Magazine)
Re:ally quite good

Esteemed locals Re:Enactment have finally put out their first full-length, and it’s a winner. It’s a crisply produced record made up of bright, enchanting synth pop that has charm and good songwriting nous behind it. They cover a pretty broad spectrum of styles, moving from straightforward electro with opener &Bomb’d, to gentler, more intricate tones in the awesomely titled Nintendogs. The percussion-heavy Fisherian Runaway is a fun interlude that leads to a screamy, pounding finish, but I would have liked to see the beautifully arranged first third of the track given more opportunity. Conversely, Too Much pulls together nicely in its final third when the additional layers of instrumentation fold in. The buzzy, energetic Problematic is another straightforward but satisfying synth stomper. Tronic indulges rewardingly in a few minutes of pure Four Tet-esque electronica before the rest of the band kicks in to bring the album home strongly. This is a fine collection of songs buoyed by classy production and a good dose of personality.

April 19th, 2011 &Bomb’d/Scraps Promo (Rave Magazine)
Those readers of Rave who actually, you know, go out and support local acts – and if you’re not one of those types, what’s your excuse? – will, no doubt, know of Lofly collective members Re:Enactment, who make a snarling, post-punk influenced take on electro-house. (Imagine if The Presets listened to a tonne of Gang Of Four and The Fall records and you’re not far off it.) Double a-side & Bombd / Scraps is the first taste of the group’s forthcoming album Mean Sounds, and if it’s anything to go by, the sound of Mean Sounds will be, paradoxically, a little tamer than their earlier Talent For Retail EP: vocalist Jacob Hicks has smoothed out his abrasive punk yelp and made it an effective falsetto, and the production values have been kicked up a notch thanks to Magoo on the boards. (I’m not sure if it’s Magoo’s influence or a principled stand on the band’s behalf, but someone here deserves kudos, too, for avoiding overcompression on these tracks – this is one of the few singles where I’ve had to turn the volume up.) & Bombd / Scraps won’t set anyone’s world on fire, but it does let us know that Re:Enactment’s début album is worth keeping an eye out for.

September 23rd, 2008 Regicide Ep Review (Rave Magazine)
Local electronic rock five-piece prove they’re improving, and then some.

Steel Drums opens with a driving thud thud thud of sticks on skins, before guitar and synthesiser emerge muck-ridden from wells of reverb and delay. It’s two minutes of dirty, dancey intro before Jacob Hicks finally starts singing. His voice has a kind of rhythmic, repetitive quality to it that suits the music, but is a bit awkward lyrically. It never really becomes a problem though, as the tunes either lay down enough solid beats for rocking out, or use a sufficient amount of shifting layers of twinkling sound effects to be entirely cerebral. That there’s little middle ground is indicative of band actively spurning pop conventions, and the EP is much better for it. Each song travels well enough to be worth the five-to-seven minute investment, without ever requiring too much faith on listener’s behalf. The songwriting isn’t perfect, and neither is the production, but Re:enactment are the kind of outfit who’ll improve exponentially as their compositional processes begin to catch-up with their rampant experimentalism. Even now, they’re still one of the Brisbane’s most exciting bands. That the EP comes on a USB stick with their previous record, remixes, remix data files, unreleased tracks, demos, and (presumably for completeness) photos, sweetens the deal considerably. You need to hook one of these up.

February 26th, 2008 Kittens Ep Review (Rave Magazine)
You say party we say… Party! Cleverly!

Re:enactment are Brisbane’s own experimental, new wave party band. Darting under the feet of their thumping kick-drum are flirtatious guitars, sinuous synth-lines and the clamour of harmonized, call-and-response vocals. It makes for an overtly quirky listening experience, one that never outstays its welcome in any particular style, but instead pleasantly surprises with a range of soulful musical references to eras past. The arrangement can be overly busy, which is due in part to instrumentation. Distorted guitar chords and over-hit cymbals take up valuable sonic real estate, which could be put to more creative use. The production of the EP contributes to its burdensome aural aesthetics. The vocals tend to sit oddly in the mix, jutting out at odd angles, with little reverb or any attempt to blend the layers of harmonies together. That’s all well and good – The Vines’ Highly Evolved featured a great deal discordant harmonies (if you’ll allow the oxymoron) – but the voices here are so close together they seem accidentally placed, rather than irreconcilably opposed. It doesn’t detract from the EP’s main function however, which is to make you dance about the place wondering what the hell is going on. To that end, these Kittens are certainly worth picking up.

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