The Limiñanas

The Limiñanas

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AllMusic Review by

The first ten seconds of the first song, “The Darkside,” on the Limiñanas' self-titled debut album tells you everything you need to know about the band and the record right away. Simply put, if you think the idea of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin backed by the Velvet Underground and produced by Liam Watson is a good one, you’re going to love this band and this record. Marie and Lionel Limiñana have concocted a sound and feel that conjure up all kinds of brilliant music; along with the already mentioned artists you can toss in Holly Golightly, the Kinks, Jacques Dutronc, and any number of ye-ye girls of the '60s. Instead of sounding like slavish imitators, though, the duo gives its sound a modern feel and a bit of dangerous fun that helps the record come to life. Avoiding the lo-fi reverb trap, they reach instead for a punchy sound that is built more on fuzztone guitars and vintage echo than it is on tape hiss and overloaded guitars. It’s a choice Billy Childish would approve of and indeed, at times the Limiñanas sound like they were trained at the Childish Institute. The alternately deadpan and peppy vocals (provided by Marie, Mu, and Nadège), the sassy-as-can-be lyrics, the pounding drums, and the simple chords are all pure Billy. Unlike Billy, though, the band isn’t afraid to add updated sounds, acoustic guitars, and instruments other than guitars (most notably sitar on "Tigre du Bengale" and pounding “I’m Waiting for the Man”-style piano on “Funeral Baby”). After a listen to the record, you could argue that the band isn’t really doing anything new and you’d have a point. What they are doing is taking all these vintage elements and creating something that sounds new and different, and that’s not an easy trick to master. Songs like “Tears” and “Mountain” could only exist in 2010 because they combine elements of everything cool that’s happened in rock & roll since 1963. Add the Limiñanas to that list of cool things and hope that this excellent debut album is the first of many to follow.

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