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Offenbach - Tonnedebrick CD (album) cover




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2.26 | 4 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars After having messed up again their popular appeal with Rock Bottom, an English-sung album, at the wrong time (referendum time), Offenbach came back with the average Coup De Foudre in 81, then this Tonnedebrick (tonofbricks) in early 83, amid constant touring, which took its toll, since drummer Harrison left the group to be replaced by ex-Aquarelle Pat Martel, thus bringing a first change to the second classic line-up of the band. If CDF brought a few regular tracks to the group, Tonnedfebrick was released in a boxing club (the group had also participated to a soundtrack of a boxing movie a few years back) and there was much hope and hype behind this one. Although the album came with that spectacular (but not original) boxing-glove artwork, and a new label (CBS), this is the start of the end, but the album sees multi-instrumentalist John McGale's songwriting role at its most, to save it from sinking. Boulet and Gravel only have one track each and not exactly the best either.

Tonnedebrick feature two tracks written with Plume Latraverse, which augurs the future live collaboration, but they're not exactly the most memorable tracks. The album is maybe the first where McGale gets a shot at singing with the good Sauve Qui Peut, which is welcome change to Boulet's now-excessive vocals, still in joual and still Charlebois-derivative. Another nice track are the Zimbabwe with an interesting percussion section that included ex-Mashmakhan and April wine Jerry Mercer and the ode to horned-husbands Pauvre Mari with the B-3 Hammond still going strong. Newly arrived Pat Martel gets his Juge Et Assassin track, which is above average but nothing to do with Aquarelle, despite strong interplay from everyone involved.

While Offenbach will remain popular until its demise in 85 (last show at the Montreal Forum was almost sold-out) after Tonnedebrick as the first album for CBS, there will be two live albums (the final show and the Plume project) and a final (uninspired) studio album? but Offenbach's most interesting albums were now long ?gone history. Casual progheads can hitch-up to Traversion, but confirmed fans can either stop here or chose the die-hard option and go to the end: it remains Offenbach worthy.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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