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Octobre - Octobre CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.28 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Octobre's debut album came as a slap in the face to almost everyone in Quebec in late 72. Recorded at Studio Six, but spartanly produced and enveloped in the blandest artwork possible, the quartet (your standard prog line-up with the keyboardist as the singer) was made up of a pair of cousins (Flynn and Dorais) and their longtime buddy bassist Légaré came from high-school blues rock groups Gladstone and Maelstrom. Behind the song format "à la chanson française", there were some real superb musicianship (usually not expected in that genre), a very "rock feel" and some incredibly thoughtful text from Pierre Flynn that had the lyrical and philosophical depth of the greatest Jacques Brel or Brassens. Indeed, kids identified a lot to those lyrics that sweated the asphalt and transpired vandalized bus stops, reeked of boondocks apartment buildings, soaked of hot city nights etc. It just talked to them just as if it was themselves thinking it. Aside from Octobre, the only other group that managed this IMHO was Harmonium, even if the later was much more ideal and hippy dream. Flynn's text were written mostly as a teen ager and later in his life would cause him a it of awkwardness as he was an adult

Those lyrics really absorbed a big part of the attention paid to Octobre, but Hebert's drumming was always excellent, Légaré's bass sinuous and fluid at wish, Dorais's guitar always discreet when needed and blistering when expected. But more than anything, Octobre was Pierre Flynn's cargo ship for the truckloads of ideas he came up with, both musical (he was the main composer and a very good keyboardist) and lyrical (he was the singer).

From the opening organ line of their first single Si On Partait (if we left) to the closing of future hit single La Maudite Machine (damn machine >> the society), you will subjected to great music, with plenty of prog characteristics, but you shouldn't expect flashy virtuoso solos or extended intros and outros. The music is at the service of the song and texts, but let that not deter you either: there is plenty to hear for the proghead.

From the opening "if we left" segueing Ca Prends Presque Rien (it takes next to nothing. to become alienated) than sidestepping for the weaker Dans Ma Ville (describing the urban hell to be fled), then into Les Vivants (the alive ones., which depicts those who are not or faking it) and on the flipside Viens Vivre (come live), you can see the the way the "thematic subject was heading for. A rather accurate if a bit cruel description of our bleak future that one just had to avoid serving La Maudite Machine, which swallows innocence, chews life and spits out wasted lives.

Octobre's music is of course very much axed towards the French lyrics,, so it is rather hard to really recommend the group to those who don't have a good mastery of the language, but the texts alone are interesting enough to want to learn the language. A real classic, although I wouldn't call it all that essential for progheads, unless having lived the plight sung by Octobre.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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