Pamplemousse - High Strung

10 songs
32:59 minutes
***** ***
ņ Tant RÍver Du Roi


Two years ago, Pamplemousse from the tropical island Rťunion released their self-titled debut album to overall great reviews, which led them to tour Europe a few times since then. Now they are back with their second album High Strung, and although the band has not reinvented their sound, there are some notable changes to be made out.

The debutís nine songs made it over forty minutes, while its successor comes with ten songs but only makes it hardly over thirty minutes. Where back in the early days, the noise rock trio liked to indulge themselves in repetitive structures, they have this time cut the fat from the meat and present their audience with a leaner and more concise final product.

The songs may not be as catchy as they used to be on the predecessor, but the hiring of star producer Peter Deimel (Chokebore, Shellac, Cows, Tocotronic,...) makes sure that you get the aural onslaught you exactly deserve with this kind of music. The songs alternate between caustic fast noise attacks and slower, slightly more psychedelic excursions. Last time I lamented that the bass was not loud enough in the mix. The band has remedied the situation, because this time it really grumbles so evilly that you feel your gut muscles tremble. And frankly, power trios do need a prominent bass guitar.

Itís hard to pick favourites on High Strung. Iíd go with the high energy rocker Heebie Jeebies, and the surf elements in the concluding instrumental Hot Fudge Monday are also quite unexpected, but in the end, this is a short album without any unnecessary moments that is best listened to from beginning to end. Pamplemousse play their mean Nineties influenced noise rock with a strong garage attitude. If you like Sonic Youth, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Cramps, the second album from these three guys out of the Indian Ocean might possibly delight you.

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