by Feu Thérèse
CST040 - 2006
With Fly Pan Am on indefinite hiatus, fans of that band will find much to like with Feu Therese. Channelling the explosive noise-rock collage of their brilliant live performances, this debut album pits a determined, careening rhythm section against a palette of pumping organ chords, shards of electric guitar, vocals often processed beyond recognition, and myriad swoops and squawks. Packed with ideas and sounds, these songs strike a perfect balance of structure and improvisation, making for some very strange - and very catchy - avant rock. The band took shape in Montreal in 2004, headed up by guitarist Jonathan Parant (Fly Pan Am) and bassist/sound artist Alexandre St-Onge (Klaxon Gueule, Shalabi Effect, Et Sans, solo). The group also includes sound artist Stephen De Oliveira and visual-artist-turned-drummer Luc Paradis. From the opening electronic squall of \"Ferrari en feu\" (the album is dedicated to Luc Ferrari) through the controlled psycho-babbling chaos of \"Mademoiselle gentleman\" to the unsettling, murmuring calm of \"Tu n\'avais qu\'une oreille\" (with De Oliveira on lascivious lead vocal), side A demonstrates the range of the band\'s influences and syntheses. Side B pushes into more bizarre and playful territory on \"L\'homme avec coeur avec elle\", which mashes up a sultry saxophone solo and vocal chirps, while the band weaves a simple 2-chord twang underneath. Album closer \"Ce n\'est pas les jardins du Luxembourg\" is a longer instrumental composition built around organ drones and processed field recordings, with rhythmic pulses and melodic accents ebbing and flowing, caught somewhere between Dark Side Of The Moon, Sun Ra, kabuki music and the zoo. Good times all around.