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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Brian Returns With Some French Synth Electro-Punk

(SCOTT)-Brian allowed me to preview these (some of them) a while back and I freaked for them, like
nothing I've heard before...... tremendous stuff here..... his review below is quite concise so I'll let him talk to you about these, but for my money, this is some total bomb-ass shit that needs to be heard! Don't delay!

I've been procrastinating with this one for weeks. I just didn't know how to get around to writing about this band. You don't know it yet, but there's three other posts I've completely assembled and written (including three original covers comps) since I uploaded these files. So, my history of the group will be concise cuz I wanna get this one done.

During that magic time in '75-77 when punk was bubbling up simultaneously in many disparate places, the French end of the music revolution was taken up by the boys in Metal Urbain. They had the distinction of being the first group released on Rough Trade Records, as well as being left in various stages of disbanding and reforming, hence these three releases by three different groups that consist of many of the same members. Look up their history somewhere. The liner notes are quite involved and I don't know the whole story offhand. On to the music, because it's what matters. I'm gonna get impressionistic for a sec here....

These guys were the bastard child of The Stooges and Suicide, a cherry-red 50's Hot Rod somehow born out of an Anthony Burgess novel... Carl Perkins playing a Korg MiniPops in a Marseilles leather bar... Baudelaire jamming with a drunken, angry Kraftwerk.... Jacques Brel fronting The New York Dolls with a cyborg heart. With the drum machine backing and the frontline guitar squall, they were unbelievably influential. Big Black copped a lot of their aesthetic from Metal Urbain. I know the early Jesus & Mary Chain albums bear the stamp of the group as well. And sooooo many Goth bands ripped off these guys.

The Urbain disc (Anarchy In Paris!) is the genre defining moment, with the synth drums clicking manically while the guitars grind away James Williamson-style. You may
 not know what "Lady Coca Cola" means, but you'll scream along with it. One of the most original first wave Punk albums. And did I mention the vocals are in French?

By the time the group evolved into Metal Boys (Tokio Airport), the formula had been refined. The guitars were meatier, the synth sounds more piercing, the bottom end deeper, and songs started being sung in English. Just check out the cooing, creepy "Suspenders In The Park". And the title track is structured like a Crass song, mixing singing and spoken word pieces about the history of Tokyo. And I dare you to listen to "Colt 45" and not hear Big Black's "Cables" in your head.

The Doctor Mix & The Remix Wall Of Noise LP was the last music from this time. It's a mixture of synth punk originals and rock n roll covers. And with it being covers-heavy, it's very accessible. "No Fun", "Brand New Cadillac", "Hey Joe", Roxy Music's "Grey Lagoons".... hell, these crazy fuckers even cover The Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray"! Definitely worthwhile.






  2. Thanks brian and scott.i have never heard of this band but this looking very interesting so i will have to check them out.thanks for all the great music.u run a great blog.thanks again.

    1. We try to keep it eclectic around here. Scroll back a few months if you haven't; lots of good stuff

  3. Hi. Great Blog. Just discovered it. Any chance of reviving the link for the Bonus disc here? Been looking for this one for years now. Thanks.