Octobre

Octobre

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Octobre's eponymous LP was also the Quebec rock group's first album. Leader Pierre Flynn was 18 years old when it was recorded. Short at 28 minutes, even by 1973 standards, Octobre presents all the qualities and some of the downsides of a first, immature record. What strikes immediately is the strength of all players, especially drummer Pierre Hébert and bassist Mario Légaré, already showing a glimpse of their later talent. Flynn's writing and vocal delivery is still strongly influenced by Jacques Brel and Genesis. The former's hand appears throughout the lyrics, especially in "Les Vivants" (The Living), the heartbreaking "Ça Prend Presque Rien" (It Takes Almost Nothing), and "La Maudite Machine" (The Damn Machine), which became the group's undisputed classic, its art rock riff backing naïve lyrics condemning the living and working conditions of the average Montreal factory employee (as perceived by an idealistic 18-year-old son of a bourgeois family). The Genesis influence resurfaces in various places, like the guitar ending and the way Flynn pushes his voice in "Si On Partait" (If We Left). That song's heavy organ part and passionate vibe is responsible for one of the highlights on this first effort, the other being the emotional ballad "Ça Prend Presque Rien." But the latter's jazzy coda (an indication of things to come on L'Autoroute des Rêves) sounds pasted in, like many of the changes in "Au Fond de Tes Yeux" (At the Bottom of Your Eyes) -- Flynn still had things to learn as a songwriter. A strong debut, Octobre laid down an array of possibilities. Subsequent albums would turn them into achievements. This LP has not been reissued on CD, but all tracks minus "Au Fond de Tes Yeux" and "Bonjour" are included in the collection 1972-1989.

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