Les Georges Leningrad

Deux Hot Dogs Moutarde Chou

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Les Georges Leningrad is a group of unselfconscious art terrorists from Montreal posing as a kind of rock band. A kind of rock band -- because its music is absurd, ridiculous, foolish, and maybe even stupid; but it is utterly compelling nonetheless. Claiming the Residents, the Flying Lizards, and even Cabaret Voltaire as spiritual predecessors, they sound more like their literary heroes Antonin Artaud in an unusually good mood while listening to DNA, or Eugene Ionesco if he had ever heard the mutant blues of Jon Spencer. There are 13 "songs" on Deux Hot Dogs Moutarde Chou (literally translated as "Two Hot Dogs Mustard Cabbage"), all of them rooted in mutant roots rock and blues beats and progressions, though they sound nothing like blues or roots rock at all, with one exception: a cover of the Residents' "Constantinople" that adds new meaning to the term "interpretation." Like the Sun City Girls they play with musical forms, stretching them to the breaking point, turning them inside out, following them about, and putting them back together any old way -- and they don't think about it even that much. But in the midst of the playtime chaos and horrid sounds there is a kind of skewed beauty, an off-kilter purpose, and a joy that are missing from so much "art" music these days. The sheer engagement with the process of recording and getting this stuff down on tape -- complete with overloaded levels, shambolic endings (sometimes the tape just stops), and mischievous delight -- is infectious and compels the listener to keep the thing on for its entire run. Laughing until tears run from your eyes is as accurate a response as screaming for it to be taken off the CD player: both are proper responses.

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