Cut Off! (US Version) (Re-TROS)

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General Information

Artist: Re-TROS
Title: Cut Off! (US Version)
Year: 2007, July 10
Label: Tag Team Records
Language: English

Track Listing

  1. Die In 1977
  2. A Death-Bed Song
  3. Boys In Cage
  4. If The Monkey Becomes (To Be) The King
  5. TV Show (Hang The Police)
  6. Laugh From The Time
  7. A Vision Of Christ


  • (c) that's Shanghai Magazine, Thomas Podvin, Chief editor: Steven Crane, January 2006 issue
  • (c) that's Guanzhou, Thomas Podvin, Chief editor: Christopher Cottrell, January 2006 issue

Re-TROS have been gigging around Beijing for the last two years under the name “Re-establishing the Rights of Statues” before releasing this debut album on the Badhead label – and simplifying their name in the process, thank god. Indeed, simplification best describes their brand of post-punk, reminiscent of late 1970s David Bowie with elements of Joy Division. On Cut-Off!, this neo-punk trio delivers six tracks running thirty minutes: tight, straightforward guitar riffs, un-fussy base lines and solid drumming. Minimalism, however doesn’t necessarily mean minimal quality. Indeed, the band’s meticulously-polished sound owes a lot to Brian Eno. While on a visit to China in October last year, the legendary producer of David Bowie, U2 and Depeche Mode added color and texture to the Beijing band’s sound and even mixed in some keyboard on a couple of tracks. Nor, for that matter, are the English lyrics simple. Indeed, each song tells a different story. “If the Monkey Becomes the King” refers to the famous novel Journey to the West while alluding to the stupidity of mankind; while “TV Show” offers a somewhat bitter challenge to authority. All said, this release will appeal to the band’s already large following (built on the back of their stunning live performances) but its minimal running time will leave them craving for more.


  • (c) Small Words Magazine, Morgan Short, 2007

The album itself, although a little too slick in the production department (what's with the rain effect on "If the Monkey Becomes (to be) the King"?), is a faithful recreation of the gritty but ethereal sound of the live show. Although only six songs long, Cut Off! stands on its own as proof that new, cutting-edge music on par with what is being done internationally is possible in China. Each of the six songs is brilliantly crafted and constructed according to a Bauhaus-type cinematic framework; the songs ebb, flow and repeat, before climaxing in intensity and passion (as in "A Death Bed Song" and "TV Show (Hang the Police)"). The vocal playoff between lead vocalist Hua Dong and female backing vocalist Liu Min recalls the Pixies at their most experimental, when Kim Deal would sustain an airy mono-note background against Frank Black's talking/singing/yelping/screaming.

Read more at Small Swords

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