Reminder Records revives punk and power pop obscurities


Reminder Records revives punk and power pop obscurities

By Tony Rettman June 21, 2022

When Jeremy Thompson went on vacation to Japan in 2019, the last thing on his mind was starting another record label. Ten years before his trip, with Trey Lindsay, he had founded Sing Sing Records, a brand specializing in reissues of obscure power pop and punk records. Even though the label ended in 2014, Thompson realized during his excursion the effect he was having on music lovers everywhere. “A lot of people in bars and record stores that I didn’t know would come up to me and tell me about Sing Sing, and it made me realize that people really enjoyed the records that we put out and cared about what we were doing,” he says.

Upon returning to the States, Thompson immediately set the wheels in motion for Reminder, a new label unearthing lost underground gems in the same vein as Sing Sing. Despite only being up and running for a short time, Thompson has managed a dozen releases for the label so far despite the many hurdles that come with trying to track down the members of a small-town combo that existed there. is over 40 years old. “If I hear an obscure record and want to put it out, I’ll do a lot of research to find the artists,” Thompson says. “Lots of calls from random people in the UK, getting the wrong numbers and sending emails that go unanswered. I do find the people eventually, though, and from there it’s It’s a fairly straightforward licensing process.

Since co-managing Sing Sing, Thompson knows that running a reissue label takes more than just releasing a barely-known punk single to an audience that doesn’t. “Obviously it has to be music that I personally like to listen to, but I also think the records should make people who buy them feel like they’ve learned something cool that they didn’t know before buying. the disc,” he said. “There should be this sense of discovery for people, and hopefully it will make them want to know more about this stuff.” To further interest anyone in the Arcane Artists he has championed over the years, Thompson has also launched the Voice on the line podcast, where so far he has interviewed members of southern UK glam rockers Hector as well as Midlands power pop unit The Incredible Kidda Band.

Below is a selection of the biggest and most animated releases Reminder has released so far.

The light is shining

For the launch of Reminder Records, Jeremy chose to reissue the only 1982 single from an Isle of Wight quartet named Cassie containing the lively A-side “Change My Image”. Luckily, the band members were sitting on a treasure trove of previously unreleased demo recordings that culminated in the entirety of The light is shining published the following year. On tracks like “Boys Will Be Boys” and “No More Rock ‘N’ Roll,” Debbie Barker’s bright, bubbly vocals offset the punk punch of the rest of the band, but upbeat “Falling” hints that Cassie might to have been able to be aired on the radio if the opportunity arose at the time.

The sound
“Cold Beat”

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In the history of post-punk Britain, The Sound of South London unfortunately does not get the recognition it truly deserves. Led by the charismatic and sadly departed Adrian Borland, they are usually mentioned along with other bands who played in an equally moody atmospheric style, such as Echo & The Bunnymen or early U2, but The Sound was certainly rougher around the edges. – both musically and emotionally. Their 1979 debut EP, lovingly delivered by Reminder, shows them at their rawest, with Borland’s staccato guitar driving the agonizing A-side “Cold Beat” throughout its duration.

Dave and Lee
Singles Collection

This compilation of the production of two Australian songwriters, Dave Burnett and Lee Cutelle, shows how expert this duo was in changing musical trends and metamorphosis as much as in songwriting. Beginning with their 1969 baroque pop 45, “I Can See The Colors Of A Butterfly,” the 10-song anthology documents Burnett and Cutelle’s forays into popular ’70s styles, such as introspective songwriter- Laurel Canyon singer-songwriters on “Goodbye Judy.” With the songs “Generation Breakout” and “Another Day In the City”, it’s unclear if they’re trying to emulate Status Quo or the Sex Pistols, but it just adds a whole other layer of intrigue.

I want to be a star

When punk rock began to establish itself in the late 1970s as a global stage beyond a sound, one of the main principles was the rejection of the debauchery and excesses practiced by rock royalty. ‘era. Apparently no one sent the memo to Birmingham’s The Daze, as they fantasize about their 1979 single about a life of success and luxury over a choppy, stuttering guitar line reminiscent of Television Personalities’ Dan Treacy.

The bastards

The only 1979 EP from this Swiss punk band is an item that typically sells in the triple digits when it comes around, so Reminder has done a great service re-releasing it for those on a budget. Taking the sound and presentation of the current UK punk scene to cartoonish levels, the three songs on Impossibilities are campy yet compelling, with consciously provocative lyrics and revamped, amphetamine-fueled ’50s guitar riffs.

make them cry

Beginning as proteges of power pop maestro Dwight Twilley in their native Oklahoma, the Jacks bounced around the Midwestern musical underground of the 70s and 80s, finding themselves in some very interesting situations. In Cleveland, they met local punk entrepreneur Johnny Dromette and recorded a single for his legendary Drome label (unfortunately not released), while a recording session in Minneapolis in 1981 found them backed by the future artists of the major label Bob Mold of Husker Du and Tommy Stinson of The Replacements. make them cry brings together all of these previously unreleased sessions plus their 45s from 1980, and it’s power pop perfection from start to finish, akin to the DIY sounds of The Shoes from Illinois in their early days.