Justine

(Suite)

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Three years after Wondeur Brass' LP Simoneda, Reine des Esclaves, the four members of this Montreal all-female avant-rock band regrouped as Justine and released (Suite), a very powerful work. The 15 tracks can be reassembled into a handful of "suites" (for example: "Le Monstre"/"Je Suis Exécrable"/"Le Retour du Monstre"; "Nous En Avons"/"Vous en Avez"; "Ça Me Bat le Coeur"/"L'Intelligence du Coeur"). Tracks segue into each other and are loosely related, but the whole album shows stunning cohesion and gains from being listened to in one sitting. Taking their point of departure from the last Wondeur Brass album, Joane Hétu (alto sax), Diane Labrosse (keyboards), Danielle P. Roger (drums), and Marie Trudeau (bass) deliver a very complex and twisted avant-rock opus. Elements of Henry Cow and Étron Fou Leloublan are still obvious, but the band has a very personal sound, taking up a feminine (feminist?) stance on avant-gardist radicalism. Their interest remains in pop music, though: beats and melodies abound, but are constantly diverted, deconstructed and warped, thanks to far-out vocals, detuned synthesizers, and John Zorn-like saxophone solos. Roger's drums and Trudeau's bass hold everything together. Harpist Zeena Parkins and Japanese singer Tenko guest on one track each. More rock and raw than La Légende de la Pluie and Langages Fantastiques, (Suite) might even appeal to progressive rock fans. All lyrics are in French but translated in English in the booklet.

blue highlight denotes track pick