When I think of French music, I think of accordions, pianos, and opera. I think of Edith Piaf, and on rare occasions I think of French rap. Rock and roll – or more specifically Metal with a capital Metal – is not on my shortlist of French musical styles.
This means I’m woefully unprepared for David TMX. Mr. TMX, or David Grousset, makes French rock with his buddies Thomas Boncour, Fred Juszczak, and Aurélien Salvucci. All of this week’s tracks are taken from his new album Renaissance.
Hit the jump for some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard come out of France.
“La Peur du Flic” translates roughly to “Fear of a Cop.” However, I’m not sure if this refers to the singer’s fear of law enforcement or the fear he instills in them. If you found Muzzy unsettling, this dude’s voice will keep you up at night. At least, he wants it to keep you up at night. His screaming is angsty, adrenaline-fueled. It isn’t “Summon Beelzebub from the Depths of Mega-Hell” screaming. The guitars ride that border between metal and punk, and the drums spur the song onward with a syncopated punk beat. There’s a violin riff that plays throughout the song, and I haven’t the faintest idea why. It softens the track’s edge, pushing it closer to some sort of hard rock ska. Maybe it’s just an unshakable music taste. A flair for strings helps me process the musicianship in the odd waltz of a bridge. After a few heated exchanges between verse and chorus, everything swirls in expansive 3/4 time for a brief moment. Quite odd, as I said, and antithetical to the rote punk “Make noise with everything” ending.
“Source Vive” is nothing if not theatrical. Imagine the Haunted House from Disney World filled with metal and pulsing club music and a weird French vampire chick out to seduce you before she slaughters you. It is so over the top it’s coming back up from the bottom. Standard metal kicks off the proceedings, emerging through a lo-fi filter. Just as it reaches normal levels of clarity and volume, a thumping techno beat joins the fray. Dizzied, I’m caught completely off guard by the sultry French siren and her Theremin accompaniment. Halfway in, the woman, her club beat, and her Theremin have all disappeared. Now I’m in the clutches of straight-ahead metal. A man who probably has a humpback is screaming at me in a language I used to understand. He bores me. Thankfully, my lady returns, her mournful crooning matching the language much better than whatever the hell that guy was yelling about. This song is nuts. Play this song just so someone else can corroborate that it actually happened.
I, um. Okay. So… “Bridget the Midget”…it’s a song. There are – well, there are notes, of course. And lyrics, I guess. And, yeah. I mean. Metal guitars and such. It’s…loud? Okay, here’s the deal: “Bridget the Midget” opens with a drum beat that sort of sounds like this is going to be some kind of 90s pop radio hip-hop song but there’s this loop of a tiny-sounding woman orgasming or something and that’s only a little weird until you realize she’s moaning to the beat and I’m like “Okay if I had a loop of a small lady making noises like that maybe I would put them to beat but I probably wouldn’t start chanting “Bridget the Midget” like I’m at some football game in Hell” which is totally what happens and this is all in, like, the first thirty seconds before the guitars come in and the woman’s noises cut out which is a relief but then these dudes start putting on their best demon voices singing about her for what seems like forever until the slower, uphill crawl of the bridge starts with a guy softly saying “No no no no no” presumably to Bridget which makes me wonder what the hell he’s going to do to her (if he hasn’t done it already) because I can’t understand the words he utters next and then Bridget makes noises a couple more times and the song ends thankgod. This song is weird.
All songs were played on the Pro difficulty using the Eraser character.
Audiosurf user _UnLeaded_ seemed destined for a hat trick of comments this week. Of “La Peur du Flic,” he wrote, “This is what happens when you invite the French metal band to play at your Renaissance Fair.” For “Source Vive”: “Sounds like a French metal band playing at Cirque du Soleil.” But nothing for “Bridget the Midget.” I suppose it left him speechless.