Thursday, 26 January 2017

Local Sounds: Volume 7.0

Happy new year everyone. I’m back with the seventh volume of Local Sounds, a series showcasing the best non-metal music being made in Montréal and Québec. I have three excellent releases to talk about today.

Les Indiens – Shaman UFO (2016)

The Quebec City quartet impressed the hell out of me when I’ve seen them in Montréal (with Grand Morne and Gerbia) back in 2014 but I pretty much forgot to check their latest album until the first month of 2017 appeared. On this lush full length, the dudes created a super cool form of rock with extensive metal influences. With nods towards Kyuss, Sleep and (obviously) Black Sabbath, Les Indiens unleashed a wide array of heavy riffs with enjoyable but buried vocals (their lyrics are all in French.) Furthermore, they have this spacey vibe as demonstrated by the Shaman UFO interludes and the use of psych elements right from Flower Travellin' Band's handbook. The production is also top notch and their sound is a natural mix of modern feedback and vintage roots. Massive, fun and interesting, this is an album worth checking out for fans of loud and smart rock music.


Security – Arid Land (2016)

The debut extended play from this duo (two members from Dernier Sex) is faithful to its geographical origin. Like Montréal's winters, it's cold but mysterious, lifeless but highly active like an undead corpse. Composed of four numbers, the EP combines lush industrial with loud but subtle drum machines, coldwave, ambient, noise rock and drone and it's highly addictive and evocative. The warm clean vocals of Anna Arrobas are providing a peculiar contrast with the icy instruments, they’re in the background giving us hope that winter is almost over. It’s stripped down music to its core and the relationship between the guitar and the bass of Élie B. Faubert is one of balance and complementarity. I was expecting something great after heir fantastic performance with Rakta right before the summer and this didn't disappoint at all.


Atsuko Chiba – The Memory Empire (2016)

The Montreal quintet is definitely one of the most interesting bands we have. Released during a gig with the excellent Milanku back in December, this three songs extended play explores the many facets of Atsuko Chiba’s identity. From the Rage Against the Machine inspired hip-hop vocal attacks to the psychedelic synths and funky metallic moments. Their palette of sounds is as extensive as the one of The Mars Volta and it’s truly difficult to pinpoint everything they do and create. They’re able to move the listeners with their drawn-out instrumental movements such as the opening of closer “Damonsta Titillates” and they don't even rely on repetitiveness or the generic crescendo formula used by most post-rock bands.. Borrowing elements from many scenes, the band is an outsider who’s doing what it truly wants. They’re shaking genre conventions with heavy guitars, thunderous bass licks and progressive explosions and I love it.


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