Release Date: Jun 30, 2014
Record label: Rock Action
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Opening with a crash of cymbals, which explodes into a twinkling of keys like rapidly falling stars, or distorted lights reflected in the ripples of water after a disturbance, 'Blabbermouth' is a flurry of activity an opener to make you sit up and take notice. For over three and a half minutes Remember Remember maintain this delicate image before deep synthesiser pulses interrupt the order that had established itself with melodic guitars and percussion soon joining the mix.
To these ears, there’s no doubt – listening to Remember Remember becomes a more pleasurable experience with every album. It’s just tricky to explain exactly why. Between the Glaswegian instrumentalists’ self-titled debut, made back when RR was just Graeme Ronald and a collection of loop pedals, through its 2011 follow-up The Quickening and now the woozily-titled Forgetting The Present, it’s impossible to pin down any revelatory moments of self-discovery.
The release of their eponymous debut album back in 2008 on Rock Action saw Glasgow’s Remember Remember swiftly filed under the post-rock genre, something reinforced three years later by their second album The Quickening. While on the surface they were understandable associations it never always felt an entirely comfortable fit, especially given the subtly different instrumentation that ran through their music. The critical acclaim bestowed upon The Quickening may have gained them new followers and raised their profile yet third album Forgetting The Present edges out both previous efforts as their most complete offering yet.
Remember Remember aren’t easily forgotten. The Glaswegian group are the brainchild of Graeme Ronald, who started off writing songs using the contents of his cutlery drawer. Since then, things have developed into a six-piece collective whose musical horizon is apparently boundless. Like the previous two, their third album is as rich and dense as a lesser royal, with songs like ‘Magnets’ and ‘Frozen Frenzy’ breezing past the nine-minute mark by taking a simple riff and expanding ever outwards from it.
This instrumental rock outfit from Glasgow started out as one man, Graeme Ronald, playing a lot of instruments. Now, after some fluctuations, it is a solid sextet. Their sound, too, has filled out – nothing on this third album could be described as flimsy. The shimmer of glockenspiels on opener Blabbermouth is ballasted by waves of heavy percussion, while an air of melancholy weighs upon references to sunnier climes – north Africa on Why You Got a Blue Face? – and ostensible dancefloor numbers (La Mayo) alike.
Trying to pin point exactly what makes listening to Remember Remember equal parts pleasurable, uneven and beguiling is a hard task. Three years on from ‘The Quickening’ this, the band’s third album, marks yet more subtle transformation in style and ambition. ‘Forgetting the Present’ sees them having grown in rank and size to a fully formed troupe of musicians where once there was just one, Graeme Ronald, yet their collective produce would remain largely familiar to existing admirers.
For some reason often described as 'proggy', likened to Mogwai (they're on Mogwai's label Rock Action) and/or seen as a slightly whimsical solo project, Remember Remember torch all preconceptions with this magnificent third album. I remember, years ago, seeing Graeme Ronald play solo in notorious Glasgow arts hub the Chateau, sampling the sounds plastic toys made. His first album as Remember Remember was very much an extension of that – a raft of wonky samples and local players in his orbit, and a sound that was charmingly bucolic.