Review: ‘Running Out Of Time’ – Rexy


Sometimes you don’t know something has been lost until it’s found again. Safe to say there won’t be a time when a dusty copy of Dollar’s second album will be found, and revisited as some kind of genius masterstroke where they rejected the onslaught of fame for something more esoteric, but there have been a bunch of releases recently where the unfound genius has become apparent, decades after the intention.

The twisted funk of William Onyeabor, the electronic troubadour-isms of Lewis, the psyched up soul of Doug Hream Blunt are recent finds worthy of a mention, now add Running Out of Time by Rexy to the list.

Originally released in 1981, this weirdo synth curiosity from Eurythmics member Vic Martin and fashion student & Blitz Kid Rex Nayman made little impact, a chart scraping, occasional radio play, and that was that.

What goes around comes around, listening back to Running Out of Time thirty five years later shows that although it’s definitely of its time, it sounds oddly contemporary, the likes of Aerial Pink, Connan Mockasin, Part Time, labels such as Mexican Summer and Captured Tracks, they are all born in the same place.

The cheap beats, lyrics more spoken than sung, five quid production ethics, post-punk electronic sounds, enthused keyboard work result in a fascinating glimpse at the UK at the beginning of the ‘80’s. Lyrics such as “Now it’s time to rise and shine / I will keep you all in line” on the sparkly opening track ‘Perfect Day’ or “Don’t try to take the mick / I’ll have you in the nick – never argue with the force” on the constabulary aping “In The Force” is just as evocative as better known songs from the era like ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials. 

‘Nervoso’ sounds like the theme music from a forgotten ITV quiz show probably starring Ted (The Tory) Rogers, while ‘Funky Butt’ is the result of trying to make something club friendly, it works as a London version of ‘Funky Town’: “Grab your tits! Urggghhh / Clap your hands / Move your funky bits”, you can imagine that slightly unhinged auntie who gets a bit rude after three Babychams singing along to this while on a vol-au-vent high.
The title track is the best song here, the histrionics are stripped back to the bare minimum, vaguely dubby, a skeletal guitar riff and a prescient lyric in “If you hear clicking on the line / the interference will be mine / every single word you say / down on tape and filed away – talk yourself into the noose”.

The vaguely anarcho attitude of Running Out of Time sits well alongside acts such as The Slits and The Au Pairs, but it’s pretty easy to tell why this album fell off at the time, the decade was about to get shiny with the posey opulence from the likes of Spandua and Duran just around the corner. Now however, its economical funk shows to have dated much better than their powder puffed peers. 

Buy the release HERE.