Bands we miss – Renegade Soundwave

Despite being one of our very favorite bands of the day – we spent more on their 12″ single vinyl imports than we care to remember – we were never able to accurately say what Renegade Soundwave actually were. A little bit trip-hop, a little bit drum and bass a little dub, a little electropop – they were a messy pastiche of different subgenres rolled into one wholly original package.

With early singles “Kray Twins” and “Cocane Sex” they established a pattern of hard-edged, heavily percussive tunes with proto-rap shouted vocals that burrowed into your head like a jackhammer and caused involuntary motions resembling dance-like moves. It was crazy-catchy with lyrics that made you may attention.

It was their version of a 1974 pop song, “Biting My Nails” that showed how powerful this trio could be. WIth a guitar chord sampled into the main riff and Gary Asquith even trying to “sing” a little amidst the spoken-vocal, it was the perfect RSW song. The followed up with the terrific Soundclash album in 1989. It would be the band’s high point.

Three albums and a number of singles (including their one pseudo-commercial “hit”), “Probably a Robbery”, they called it quits in 1995. When listening to their back-catalogue now one realizes just how unique this group was. No one sounded like them; no one does to this day. To be that interesting, that unique, and still be that catchy, that clever with a hook, that compelling was a major achievement and it’s one of the bands we miss most as we look back…

Watch: Biting My Nails

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One Response to “Bands we miss – Renegade Soundwave”

  1. I love love love RSW although I think for me their high point was “In Dub”. Still sounds great today.

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