Montreal's Malajube are like an indie rock Dr. Frankenstein. On their debut album Trompe-l'Oeil they construct a sound out of scraps left over from other bands and come up with an appealingly strange hybrid. An inventory of parts used in the creation of Malajube's monster would read, in part: some Flaming Lips-style weirdness, a dash of Radiohead majesty, traces of early Mercury Rev's kitchen sink approach to recording, some Arcade Fire drama, a bit of post-punk à la Franz Ferdinand and tiny scraps of chamber pop iconoclasts like Sparklehorse, Sigur Rós and Mew here and there. It sounds like a mess and occasionally it is, especially when the curiously flat mix turns things into a sonic mush. Much more often though, the album is a success since the band plays and sings with a furious energy throughout and takes care to always imbue their arrangements with enough surprises to keep things interesting. At their best, on tracks like the rampaging "Pâte Filo" or the woozily swaggering rocker "Ton Plat Favori," Malajube turn that ungainly blend of influences into a unique and thrilling sound. Trompe-l'Oeilis a fine debut from a band that shows a lot of promise.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra