Released less than a year after Le Complexe de la Viande's eponymous CD, Live at Mhère acts like a companion. It features one continuous 50-minute improvisation recorded live at the Fruits de Mhère event. For the occasion, two of guitarist Dominique Répécaud's trios fused into one outfit. Le Complexe de la Viande -- Laurent Dailleau on theremin, Serge Pey on poetry -- was augmented by Étage 34's Daniel Koskowitz (drums) and Olivier Paquotte (bass). Suddenly, the atmospheric noise textures of Le Complexe have transformed into Sonic Youth-esque noise explorations, unless it is a freer version of the Ruins! While Pey delivered pre-written stories on the previous CD, here he is less prepared and adopts a more poetic approach, looking for rhymes, repeating lines and hammering out his words like he is playing drums. Yet Koskowitz rarely locks into a groove, playing free rock almost throughout. Live at Mhère is heavier than its predecessor, but also more sluggish. It lacks intensity, and Dailleau's theremin is often lost in this sea of guitar, bass, and drums. Both groups have recorded stronger material. Here they try to find a comprise that, although being interesting for the fan, does not show either's true potential. As usual, Pey speaks in French, but this time his input is not essential to the listening experience.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture