Feu Therese

Ca Va Cogner

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AllMusic Review by

French-Canadian sonic foragers Feu Therese really upped the ante on their second full-length Ca Va Cogner ("It's Gonna Hit"). The experimental textures, post-rock dynamics, and wry absurdism are all still present but they've draped it all in a thin yet enveloping layer of tongue-in-cheek borrowings from microgenres of international music history, including smarmy French pop, Italian cowboy motifs, German kosmische synthscapes, Brazilian samba-delic, and American white-boy funk. This album encompasses all the art-damaged groove of guitarist Jonathan Parant's previous band Le Fly Pan Am, the progressive tendencies of bassist Alexandre St-Onge's numerous projects (including the Shalabi Effect and Et Sans), and the directions, both retro-minded and forward looking, that Feu Therese began to explore on their debut, and brings it all to new heights of cohesion. Although all bandmembers offer unique and essential contributions, it's keyboardist Stephen DeOliveira who has seized the helm in a large number of instances (especially on the Kraftwerk-ian "Les Deserts Des Azurs," the super-sexy "Nada," and the neo-classical title track), and his irony-drenched sung-spoken Quebecoise and banks of vintage analog electronics envision a "switched on" Serge Gainsbourg fronting Tangerine Dream at their spaciest. "A Nos Amours" combines de Oliveira's moustache-twirling chanson tendencies and a lilting children's choir chorus with Parant's signature stuttering punk-funk guitar (think vintage Talking Heads). "Le Bruit Du Pollen La Nuit" features a mock-sultry French spoken word passage set to sinister guitar slink and cheesy '80s keyboard figures which erupts into a swooning refrain of "you're just a...just a...pretty boy!!!" (at least that's what it sounds like). "Visage Sous Nylon" is a Morricone spaghetti western theme with pulsing keys, galloping martial drums, finger-popping bass, staccato guitar lines like ricocheting bullets, and serio-comic vocal chants of epic melodrama. And "La Nuit Est Une Femme" is nothing short of brilliant, quite simply a swirling psychedelic masterpiece. Even without the context of the multi-faceted musical reference points that are mined here, and whether they're being perpetrated in smirking semi-seriousness or sincere heartfelt homage, it's still a stunning album, an expansive and all-encompassing effort, an absolute tour de force.

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