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Etron Fou Leloublan - Les Poumons Gonflés CD (album) cover


Etron Fou Leloublan



4.07 | 46 ratings

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4 stars After four years, that I supposed were spent touring and adjusting the lineup, Etron Fou Leloublan finally managed to hit all the right notes with the release of Les Poumons Gonfles! Featuring ten relatively short and well-balanced compositions that sound like they have been worked on for quite some time, this album can't be called anything but a highlight of the RIO movement!

The more hardcore fans of RIO music might dismiss this album for not being as challenging as the band's two previous releases but I doubt that even they would be unhappy with an album like Les Poumons Gonfles for its excellent share of material and skilled execution. The lineup from the live album En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique has now been expanded by multi-instrumentalist Jo Thirion and Fred Frith, who just departed from Henry Cow/Art Bears, plays on two of the tracks. Frith's guitar work really makes a huge impact on Christine that sounds like a well though-though performance of what otherwise sounded like a wild experimental jam on the 1979 live album.

My favorite moments come in the likewise sounding Nicolas/Nicole which have surprisingly little in common with each other. The first one is more of a crazy performance that we've previously heard from Etron Fou Leloublan on their previous studio albums, but this time the performance is much more concise and doesn't overstay its welcome, on contrary, making me want to scream for more! Nicole is a much smoother composition that does start of like a wild Avant-Prog track but the main portion of it is much groovier and actually reminds me slightly of a pumped up version of Roxanne by The Police!

The high note conclusion of Pas'l'sou, that manages to shift into a waltz on a few occasions, did catch me off guard the first time I heard it, but isn't that what challenging bands suppose to do? Les Poumons Gonfles is definitely the best introduction to Etron Fou Leloublan even though it might not be all that representative of their early material. Still, if you only plan to hear one album by each of the original RIO bands then this is definitely the album to pick from Etron Fou Leloublan's discography.

***** star songs: Nicolas (4:07) Nicole (5:41) Pas'l'sou (3:14)

**** star songs: Mimi (2:59) Exposition Universelle (1:44) La Musique (3:03) Christine (6:42) Those Distant Waters (3:17) Upsalla (Chenevier) (2:07) Io Prefero (4:30)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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