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


Etron Fou Leloublan



4.07 | 51 ratings

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4 stars Etron Fou Leloublan (whose name is supposed to translate as "mad sh*t, the white wolf") were one of the original bands of the Rock-In-Opposition movement. Their sound was probably the farthest from the other RIO bands, originally being a mix of punk, jazz and French music hall, with a whole lotta avant weirdness added to the mix. This is their third album, released four years after the second. The punk and avant-garde influences are not quite as strong here and a keyboardist is added. The one and only Fred Frith guests on this album playing guitar and violin.

One of the biggest influences on the band's sound seems to be Captain Beefheart. The group is less goofy and oddball here than on the first two albums. The production is better and the organ fits in well with the sax, bass and drums. "Nicolas" has sax skronking and repeated guitar chords joined by bass and oft-kilter drumming. Then harmonized vocals. Later switches to a more punk sound with sax soloing. I like the sound of the organ and bass playing in unison here. All of a sudden changes to a more upbeat and jazzy section. "Mimi" has nice repeated piano and offbeat drums and bass being joined by some very French vocals. Changes chords and gets more sunny sounding with what sounds like synth squiggles. Followed by a part where there is talking instead of singing with some great brass.

"Nicole" starts off all dissonant and repetative, then switches to a part with talking backed by busy drumming and a 3-note bassline. Changes to a fast dissonant section with more talking. The organ starts to solo. The song returns to the the beginning part, then goes through the next two sections again. Later some crazy organ playing before it changes to a new melodic, upbeat section that almost sounds like reggae. The vocals are now more traditionally sung. Lovely sax solo. Love the piano chords. "La Musique" starts with dissonant atonal guitar playing that gets joined by some very melodic classical sounding organ, piano and bass. Switches to a fast repeated piano note and steady bass string picking with a slowed down voice talking over top. You hear a gong and then some steady snare drum and cool overdubbed organs fighting with each other.

"Christine" has an organ drone get some drums and sax playing freely added to it. Then the drums play a steady beat and the bass comes in. Oh man, that bass sound! I absolutely love the sound of the bass here; it's so sexy and dangerous. Vocals come in. The sax plays a hypnotic 2-note sequence here. Changes to a part with talking and no drums, just dissonant guitar and organ. Comes back to the great bass section. All of a sudden halfway it changes to a part where the bass goes higher and higher up the fretboard while the other instruments and vocals are more cacaphonous. Music stops briefly then a riff on guitar and bass with sax and vocals joining in.

"Those Distant Waters" not only has an English title, but the lyrics are in English as well. Crazy guitar string noises can be heard before eerie organ comes in. Then a voice that sounds like the person is in a spacesuit or something. Oddball effects that sound like they were done on a synth come and go. Some jazzy bass, sax and drums afterwards. "Uppsalla" has some really wonderful melodic organ and sax before it goes into some kind of Middle-Eastern jazz. "Io Prefero" has vocals in Italian. Nice drums and bass playing before it switches to a section with some kind of percussion and the spoken vocals begin. Both parts get repeated. "Pas'L'Sou" is a very French sounding song with spoken vocals. Features skronking just to add some flavour.

My favourite album from EFL and probably their most consistent. This was released in 1982 and you won't find too much music that was as experimental and "progressive" as this back then. Definately one of the better prog albums of the 1980s. The next albums are similar but not quite as good as this. A great introduction to these French weirdos. I feel this deserves at least 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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