Le Singe Blanc - Babylon

9 songs
29:42 minutes
***** ***
Bar La Muerte
La Face Cachée


It’s been four years since I last saw Le Singe Blanc, back then opening for Nomeansno at the Kulturfabrik. In the meantime, they released a CD and DVD covering their tour through China, and also recorded their newest album Babylon. This crazy trio from Metz has been active since the year 2000, and have from the start created their very own niche by reducing their music to two bass guitars and a drum kit.

Not much has changed stylistically, except that they have maybe refined their style somewhat. One of the bass guitars plays slightly higher notes to make up for the lack of a guitar, but that’s all the concessions they are willing to make. The mostly short tracks are incredibly groovy, varying between bumpy down-tempo build-ups and furious high speed outbursts. Add to this the insane vocals that scream, chirp and burp all over the place in their very own pre-fabricated language, and you get something like Magma on a very strange acid trip laced with really good amphetamines.

You need to give the record some time to unfold all of its potency, but then you will be delighted by the sheer inventiveness of Le Singe Blanc’s performance. The schizophrenic Ouzfat delights with its extreme oscillations between slo-mo rhythms and hysteric blast beats, le longer Tapadi enchants with quite a catchy melody although it’s still light years away from what most people would consider acceptable, and Zirath surprises with some nicely distorted bass guitar and a surf part.

I wouldn’t say that Le Singe Blanc have reinvented themselves, but why should they? There are few bands around these days that have the courage to do their own thing, and that’s why it’s important to cherish those rare exceptions that still prevail. Add to this the utterly disgusting backcover artwork, probably ripped off from the most disgusting kebab take-out in Western Europe, and you have a stylistically brilliant half hour record that is ideal to scare off your worst enemies.

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