Montreal’s Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche is ironically billed as a “stripped down quartet,” as the sound of their second album is as raucous as their first. The album begins with a boom and never lets up; it’s a non-stop jam that we’re eager to experience live. All of Zubberdust!‘s elements remain in place: head-nodding percussion, onomatopoaic David Byrne-esque vocals (we’re not the only ones to notice), tomahawk chop chants and a sense of gleeful abandon. One can imagine people dancing non-stop to this recording, which unfolds as a continuous session: three songs in ten parts that save for a single fade and pause may as well be one 43-minute track. The base tempo of each piece increases in succession along with its length, producing a trance-like effect akin to a DJ mix, albeit in the rock arena. This being said, some tracks contain rapid tempo changes, as first heard in the opening segment of the second composition: first a crunchy breakdown, then a rapid-fire spin, then a return to the groovy interplay of drums and bass.
One continues to wonder if David Byrne has heard of Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche, as they have obviously heard of him, and now trumpet the aural association. There’s simply no escaping the fact that one is taking up where the other left off years ago with Talking Heads. It’s as if the quartet said, he isn’t making this sort of music anymore, so someone should. But there’s some full-throated screaming in the middle piece as well, a raging against the ridiculous nature of the modern world, reflected in the somewhat nonsensical title, “Alizé and Margaret D. Midi minus the quarter. On the beach, a bloody palm tree”. Distortion closes the piece, a sonic fuzz that flies against the melody and bursts its wings upon collision: a harsh moment repeated in the album’s closer to an even greater extent.
By the finale ~ which may rob itself of the very title by gobbling the entire second side ~ calypso and disco rhythms have come into play, along with the already present krautrock and post-rock. The band has so many influences that it’s hard to pin them down. So when the cacophony falls into a cicada-filled hole, one just goes along for the ride. At this point, it’s obvious that the groove will resume, as it always has before. In fact, one can connect this album to the last album like splices on a reel-to-reel, the last song connecting to the first, and we suspect the last song on this album connecting to the first on the next as well, an exquisite corpse with no apparent ending. But that’s okay; we want this ride to continue like an expanding train line, laying tracks to undiscovered territories. (Richard Allen)
Release date: 20 January