Renminbi: The Phoenix

[1 June 2008]

By Joe Tacopino

Like Sonic Youth without the sludge, Renminbi is an experimental rock group which doesn’t exactly construct a wall of sound with their guitars—the band brings an onslaught which more resembles a chain link fence. The Brooklyn duo consists of Lisa Lui on guitar and vocals, and SMV on keyboards and vox. They coincidentally include fellow Brooklynites A Place to Bury Strangers among their “Top Friends” on MySpace. This group could certainly use some inspiration from Oliver Ackerman and his Sonic Annihilation effects pedals. Renminbi’s pseudo-shoegaze is slightly lacking on the gaze side. Their methodical guitar riffs seem to go nowhere slowly with the occasional appearance of vocals that oddly bear no resemblance to the high-pitched squeals of Kim Gordon, whom they claim to draw inspiration from. Renminbi could certainly dwell more in the feedback-driven transgressions and repetitious drones of their noisy contemporaries. Their debut album The Pheonix needs more grit to its glorious guitars and extended jams.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/renminbi-the-phoenix/