L' Archiviste B...

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L'Archiviste B... is Quadra's first CD. From the very first notes it appears clear that this French quintet (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums) follow the legacy of Ange, especially the late-'80s/early-'90s pop/rock song approach of Christian Decamps (Ange's singer) who incidentally guests on vocals. But Decamps' presence is hard to identify since singer Frédéric Morala sounds exactly like him most of the time. Lyrics also follow the same imagery. The opening track, "Vieux Fossile" ("Old Fossil"), presents a disillusioned Woodstock-goer in his fifties. This character fits perfectly Morala's physical and musical description. His rock songs oscillate between hard rock and light progressive rock. Production is good but sterile. Guitarist Didier Guillemer shows nice chops, but the rhythm section (Patrick Michel and Jean-Louis Peugeot) sounds weak. Highlights can be found in "Alcali Volatil," a heavy mid-tempo tune, and the almost-proggish "L'Archiviste Bordélique." The three-part suite "Univers Chiffonné" ("Crumpled Universe") fails to raise the ante: after a nice instrumental first part, it comes back to a rock song. Part three, although clocking at almost 12 minutes, actually comes to an end after five (a baby cries for a couple more, than a blank gap leads to a poor hidden acoustic guitar piece). If you can stomach Ange's mid-'80s releases you might find L'Archiviste B... enjoyable; otherwise, it's just another very average (and a bit pretentious) French rock album.

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