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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
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No Age - Everything in Between
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Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Absinthe (Provisoire)

Rating: 6/10 ?

January 9, 2007
So, this is not the kind of record where some band kicks in the door and struts around like they own the place. After all, how often does a band just come out of nowhere and own your listening experience? Maybe two or three times? Even Brian Eno keeps his feet on the ground when he's not making music. Formed in 2000, Absinthe (Provisoire) is a post-rock band from Montpellier, France. And that is about it. They will not seek the philosopher's stone for you. You might as well roll up your sleeves and start digging yourself.

What Absinthe (Provisoire) will do is track back to close encounters with albums of yesteryear that, in their time, quickly became sought after collector's items. In an epic like the opener "Kocka" (almost half an hour of the triptych stillness-mayhem-stillness) can be found bruised reminiscences of Cul de Sac, Trans Am and Labradfod. Absinthe (Provisoire) does not intend to keep their musical influences under wraps. You gotta give them credits for that.

After releasing their debut album on Hydrophonics and opening performances for Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Absinthe (Provisoire) seemed ripe enough to document the slow death of the world through their own illustrations. To be sure, if humanity needs a saviour these nice folks could well be eager for the chance. Well, them and a trillion others like them.

As a rule it is not that easy to dive deep in music and weed out what is superfluous. Besides, an unfavourable critique of one's work usually eats away at that someone, their next work sure to be a sacrifice on the altar of egos and prejudices.

I would give my own pillow if a band wrote lines like "Dear miss, I'm the pilot of a yellow zeppelin, and I want to rush straight towards the sea, straight towards you" ("Love Song for a Dutch Bitch") more often. But then again, most people disregard the benefits of a good night of sleep.

If anything, Alejandra rubs the clitoris of post-rock, serving up more of the past of a genre that is so doomed to be buried in a near future. Ironically, when Slint released Spiderland, back in 1991, post-rock immediately crystallized as the fossil of a long-gone mammoth. It was a killer record - one of the best in the 90s, for sure - but it was also drying out all future experiments in that field. When the stakes are too high and push comes to shove, most bands "go down like a led zeppelin" (and I'm quoting the producer of a successful band).

Again, my heart still goes up for good lyrics: "You put a spy cam into my soul but it's alright cause it's gone." But it's a real shame that this album doesn't soar higher; Absinthe (Provisoire) were already so close to heaven when they first learned to fly.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes



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