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Troisième Rive - Banlieues CD (album) cover

BANLIEUES

Troisième Rive

 

Prog Folk

4.38 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars An incredible one shot in the world of progressive folk rock, a bit like Ripaille (but more trad than medieval), Troisième Rive's sole album is one hell of a find in its vinyl form, having never received a legit CD re-issue (no matter what Poor House has you out to believe), and this is even more unbelievable the Musea label actually has gone by it without detecting it so far. This sextet, not including lead singer Maurice Boquet, made a very delicate folk rock album that deserves to be rated amongst the best of France and even Europe. Behind a superb but nightmarish artwork, it came out on the ultra-small Iris label and disappeared inn the rear of record shop, like expected given its released date of 78. To give you an idea on how this album is tremendous, even this writer manages to forget his lifelong hatred of accordion and even liking what it actually adds to this album.

Right from the first guitar strums and the great bass, you'd guess that you're not far away from Quebecois Richard Seguin, especially once he hits the suburbs (banlieues) of Vancouver just before hitting Bilbao's. The solid group behind Boquet gives an excellent musically narrative thread on which his lyrics just glide effortlessly over the accordion-lead bass rhythm track that sounds like pure heaven in folk terms, and Boquet's throat scrapping leading in the final guitar solo is marvellous. The very precious Le Petit Jeu is one of the many highlight where Boquet's quivering voice (this reminds of Julien Clerc's early career with his debut in the Haïr musical) over delicate guitar arpeggios is reminiscent of early Genesis' folk roots. The Spanish-sounding Amalia (this writer's main scientific project is also called that) is a great upbeat track that avoids the Flamenco clichés and another great moment. The more ambitious (lyrically anyway) Ballade is not exactly the more enthusiasting track of the album,

The flipside holds only two tracks, both separated in three sections, which indeed augurs for the proggiest of folk. The XX-mins Légende is a spell-binding track starting out on electric guitar arpeggios, loud muffled sounds before segueing into quiet quivering vocals over a clear piano, but as the vocal attacks its second, there are a few bursts, triggering the drama floodgates with harpsichord, Hackettian guitars and the full shebang.. Outstanding and sending chills down your spine, spreading goose bumps all- over. Of course the best Genesis moments are not far away from this, but there is that French dimension that brings a tad more of "je-ne-sais-quoi" to it. The wild third movement of this track gave the name of the group and is a fitting finale to the album's apex. The three-part 6-minutes Chateau has a hard time succeeding to Légende, but somehow manages fairly well. The short and sweet Douves (moats) slowly evolves into a wilder and louder Herse (port-cullis) and finally ends in the

Certainly one of France's best folk album, Troisième Rive remains one of the best kept secret from its country and will likely remain so unless some daring prog label will make the not-so-daring choice to release it. Awesome, beautiful and solemn piece of wax.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |

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