V13 - Overlook Hotel

V13 - Overlook Hotel

10 songs
45:49 minutes
***** ****
Swarm Of Nails


Alas, quality and success rarely go hand in hand. If the world were a more just place, a band like V13 from the French tourist town Cannes would be quite the sensation. The quartet offers on their second album Overlook Hotel which came out already a year ago three quarters of an hour of the finest noise rock around. The opener Renégat starts fiercely with abrasive guitars, screamed vocals and a high level of aggression. The lyrics are in French, but then that shouldn’t prevent anyone from spending their time with this band. The following Tu as choisi d’entrer is already more diverse, with its undistorted guitars and cleaner vocals reminding somewhat of Noir Désir, but as the song goes on, the band finds its way back to its more unbridled approach. The one minute smasher Black Sheep shows the band from its most uncompromising side, but things smooth again from here. On Gouache the band acts in such a despairingly dark way that one can’t help thinking of Oxbow. The second half of the album turns out to be even better, as if the guys only warmed up before. The majestically long titled Mais ils ne renforcent pas le camp ennemi qui comptait déjà des millions d’imbéciles, et où l’on est objectivement condamné à être un imbecile features a female guest vocalist whose mellifluous performance contrasts splendidly with the otherwise desperate atmosphere. The use of atypical instruments like trumpet and vibraphone furthermore enhance V13’s broad spectrum of sounds.

Produced by Serge Morattel (Knut, Shora,…) in Geneva and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Converge, Isis, Unsane,…) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Overlook Hotel sports of course a perfect sound. V13 have definitely already crafted their own sonic identity, locating themselves somewhere between bands like Oxbow, UIan Bator, Sonic Youth and Noir Désir, to give you the vaguest of ideas. Noise rock aficionados on the lookout for something truly mind expanding should invest their time and money into this great Southern French band.

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