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Octobre - Octobre CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.28 | 21 ratings

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3 stars Don`t expect any 23 minute epic showpieces or album cover artwork concepts depicting three headed fire-breathing mythical dragons defending magical kingdoms in sureal landscape settings from this 1973 premiere album from Québec folk-prog band Octobre. While all the adventurous musical essentials of contemporary early seventies progressive rock are heard here to great effect, lyrically Octobre`s romantic visions seek to explore the harsh social realities as well as their passion for their hometown of Montréal, Québec which is exemplified in the song " Dans ma ville" ( In My City ). The lush multi-tracked vocals of leader Pierre Flynn ( then only 18 years old ) are the driving force behind this 28 minute album which was otherwise recorded straight with no overdubs on a shoe-string budget. Without unecessary flashiness the solid precision of the well matched talents of the individual musicians combine to make this album click.

Despite their emotionally drenched musings the songs are not as dark mooded as those heard from counterparts in the UK at the time and to non-francophones might even come off as love songs, which in a sense they are. Not in the boy meets girl sense but rather in a more profound way, dealing with feelings towards the isolation of the lower working classes of society, particularilly in Montréal in 1972. At times, Flynn paints himself into passionate rages and this is most evident on the catchy "La maudite machine" ( The Damn System ) which became a rebel yell and defined the heartbeat of a younger generation of French Canadians.

Musically there are few dull moments with Flynn & company and due to time restrictions the pieces don`t have time to become tedious and are full of intricate dynamics and compositional skill. This is demostrated right fom the opening track " Si on partait" ( If We Left ), which became an almost instant hit on local charts, where a theme is stated and no time is wasted in developing it with several fast paced changes and motions in just two and a half minutes. This formula more or less continues throughout the album and would develop even more over subsequent albums. The listener is also constantly injected with sporadic but not overwhelming doses of Genesis & Gentle Giant influences and to a lesser extent early King Crimson. French Canadian folk roots surface everywhere and are most evident in Flynn`s passionate melodic voicings and the resulting Octobre hybrid sound was sort of French-Canadian folk meets art rock.

A ghost from the vaults this first Octobre album never made it on to CD format and remained in the " albums that time forgot" file until 1995 when 6 of it`s 8 tracks made it on to a CD compilation entitled " Octobre: 1972- 1989 " which is featured in a separate entry in progarchives. Well worth the search in it`s original LP form, this superb debut is a testimonial to the raw talent displayed by this unique Québec group which was to form a core of a movement of folk oriented rock in French Canada in the early seventies. Add ½ star.

Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |


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