Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bâton Rouge - Totem

01. Le Fixeur
02. Côte Du Py
03. Cours Tolstoï
04. Guetter Les Ondées
05. Totem
06. Hypn-O-Sonic
07. Au Gré Du Gel
08. Train De Nuit
09. D'année En Année

The group comes from France and 'Totem' is their new nine song full-length. I've never heard of them before, and after one listen... I love them. The band incorporate elements of melodic indie rock and post-rock throughout the record and carries a distinct late 90's emo/punk vibe. However, no one particular category fits more than another here because it blends so well. Fans of Moneen and Get Up Kids will hear a familiar tone in the singers voice. It's a raspy/emo vocal that works really well between the driving/jangly guitars and dirty bass. Songs are sung in French, but sometimes only appear for a section and then the rest is left to the band as heard on the stunning opening track 'Le Fixeur' and later on 'Cours Tolstoi'. The mix is well balanced and the recording comes off feeling pretty genuine. The opening track is a killer five minute epic that really sets up the pace for the rest of the record: a great balance of driving melodic indie/rock and instrumental material. Right in the middle of the album a killer one-two combo drops which really floored me. Title track 'Totem' is a brief instrumental that flows seemlessly into 'Hypn-O-Sonic', another instrumental, but all up accounting for nearly ten minutes of highly engaging and accessible music touching on prog/ambient/post-rock without getting boring or over the top. Pure gold. A release like this would not have been out of place on Jade Tree or Deep Elm records back in the day. There's a lot to enjoy about it, the guitar work is really tasteful, whilst no major noodling/crazy lead work ever happens... the dynamics and relationship between the bass and guitars is really cool! I liked the production, everything feels right and sounds clean and balanced. You need more than a few minutes to appreciate what these guys are doing but you're guaranteed to be rewarded if you do. This is well worth a spin.

Reviewed by Sean.

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1 comment :

  1. They are ex-Daïtro, big name in screamo scene.