Renmin Ribao is an interesting Polish post-punk trio emanating from Poznań. The group derived its name from a Chinese communist newspaper called People’s Daily, but it’s more of an homage to visual aesthetics than a political statement of the involved musicians. Renmin Ribao started a couple of months before this situation with pandemics, quarantine, and lockdowns happened, so these unfortunate circumstances spoiled their desire to perform live shows. However, the group decided to proceed with songwriting and eventually recorded three compositions for their upcoming material. These activities resulted in a Who Controls? EP, which has been published on cassette by the Sardinian Home Mort Records.
Who Controls? illustrates a coldness and bleakness through familiar post-punk maneuvers, characteristic for the golden eighties era of this particular genre. Besides a dominant presence of post-punk sound, you may stumble upon some coldwave or darkwave elements, which are unquestionably adding even more grimy ambiance to the overall listening experience. Renmin Ribao is aiming for this particular aesthetics to illustrate the process of auto-destruction, which gradually transforms into a state of nothingness. However, Who Controls? is avoiding the nihilistic approach to these thematics by offering more of an opinion or criticism about contemporary society. The lyrics are revealing nearly post-apocalyptic imagery of the world we’re gradually heading to, fully supported by the appropriate musicianship of the entire group.
This material bursts with a detailed melancholic vibe, delivered through thoroughly designed harmonizations. Each articulation comes decorated with appropriate retrospective production that resembles the music previously performed by the greats of this spectacular genre. Renmin Ribao vividly mimics the post-punk, coldwave, and darkwave fundamentals but pays a lot of attention when it comes to composing. Therefore, you may catch some familiar melodies along the way, but you won’t be able to compare it with compositions previously recorded by the heavyweights of the genre. Still, the overall ambiance resembles something that would Joy Division, Bauhaus, and Siouxie And The Banshees would record throughout their careers, but with more layers of noise added over the top.
Who Controls? represents an outstanding debut EP by a promising Polish post-punk trio, and I am looking forward to hearing more of their sonic endeavors in the nearest future. This material is more for the fans of dirtier post-punk sound, who’re devotedly avoiding polished recordings within the genre, so give it a listen and decide for yourself. Head over to the Home Mort
Bandcamp page, purchase this cassette, and by that actions, fully support the work of both label and a band.