The re-issue of Running Out Of Time by Rexy comes 35 years after its first release. Rexy were a synth-pop duo made up of Rex Nayman and Vic Martin. They met at the famous Blitz club in London in 1979. They released one full-length album before splitting in 1982. Running Out Of Time has gone on to be a cult success and it’s been out of print for years. This release is likely to appeal to the same people who were waiting for Roberto Cacciapaglia’s left-field synth pop record, The Ann Steel Album, which had a successful reissue a few years ago.
On the most successful songs, the music lives up to the legend of the record. The opener, ‘Perfect Day’ mixes the smooth lounge funk of Mandre with Telex’s nerdy electro pop. The instrumental, ‘Nervoso’, is the record’s most enjoyable song with its twinkling synths and disco beat. It could be a theme tune to some forgotten early-80s TV show. The title track is another high point which shows their tender side and makes a nice change of pace, since it is so laid back.
Nayman’s singing style tires over ten songs. He has a nonchalant delivery that is somewhere between Vivien Goldman from The Flying Lizards and Barbara Gogan from The Passions. There’s a hint of Daniel Miller from The Normal too.
Rexy do have a unique quality, despite recalling other excellent groups from the late 70s and early 80s, but their music unfortunately doesn’t always compare in quality. The weakest songs are the covers of ‘Johnny B Goode’ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, which are novelties that don’t stand up to repeated plays. ‘In The Force’ is let down by the repetition of the title – it feels like a joke that quickly wears thin. Their music can feel too forced and overly busy. Nice Mover by Gina X Performance is a record that takes a similar approach to mixing synth-pop, disco and new wave and does so much more successfully.
It’s a shame Rexy never made a second album as there are songs here that indicate the group could have developed something interesting. ‘Alien’ and ‘Don’t Turn Me Away’ suggest they had a talent for a good pop chorus. They just needed to refine their sound and they might have been onto something. As it is, Running Out Of Time is a nice curio, but ultimately an uneven collection of songs.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.