The Gymslips - Rocking with the Renees - Abstract Records - ABT 006 - UK - 1983 "DEFINITION OF A RENEE (PLURAL - RENEES) APPEARANCE: Slightly rotund, double chin, in most cases short hair DIET: Excessive alcohol, Pie and Mash CLOTHING: Jeans, monkey boots, denim jacket (leather in winter), T-shirt HABITS: most disgusting things The male counterparts are known as Ronees." That, from the album cover, ought to clear things up. The Gymslips were a rather brilliant street/skin type punk pop all girl band who should have been huge-ish. But despite great songs and the support of John Peel (who did no fewer than five sessions with them) they never really got too far off the ground. Fortunately they left behind this honey of an album, which retains its punch and charm all these years later. Chiefly noted, as far as I can tell, for the entirely fitting, competent-though-rote cover of Suzi Quatro's "48 Crash", their first single and a minor radio hit, it's the casually well-crafted original songs of every day life -- gently ironic and verging on novelty -- that really shine. (You know me: I love nothing more than things that are gently ironic verging on novelty, particularly when they have nice melodies as well.) "Drink Problem" is a unique masterpiece that would be a classic in any idiom and it never fails to cheer me up. If you're looking for a pleasant way to spend twenty-five minutes or so, you could do a lot worse than Rocking with the Renees. Two of the three orginal Gymslips reconvened as the Renees later on for the 1990 electro-pop tinged release Have You Got It! While the style isn't quite my cup of tea, the ironic cum novelty slice-of-life spirit remains intact and manages to produce yet another unique sort of masterpiece named "He Called Me a Fat Pig and Walked Out on Me." They still got it, kind of. notes: -- discogs: -- I couldn't find a post of the album proper on youtube, but here's a 27 song compilation that includes the album's 14 tracks along among all the extras: -- Here's "Drink Problem" from the album: -- "Drink Problem", Peel session: -- a music video of the song "Dear Marge": -- The Renees - "He Called Me a Fat Pig and Walked out on Me": #music #records #vinylcollector #minds