Black Market Music 2022
Swiss noiseniks serve up a blistering set of unambiguous dilemmas to puzzle the listener with melodic paradoxes.
It took this Lausanne ensemble almost three years to get from their 2019 debut EP to a full-length platter that includes a couple of tracks from the trio’s first mini-album but fleshes old cuts with much fiercer songs which could be the sign of our times if there wasn’t something eternal about the devil’s dozen tracks on offer. As one may presume, everything must boil down to the rage underlying the grungey numbers – fittingly produced, recorded and mixed by Jack Endino in Seattle – yet the group’s emotional spectrum and genre affiliation are wider than the nihilistic, albeit nuanced, likes of “Auf Wiedersehen” seem to insinuate. And then, there’s hysterical humor to color the collective’s serrated riffs and eerie screams.
Hiding behind the groovy surface of “Pills And Wine” that’s not as fearsome as its initial heaviosity suggests it would be, the band’s menace and meanness gradually reveal their depth, and when Gabriela Varela’s rock ‘n’ roll licks take over from her vocals to deliver a solo the listener is hooked for good. So once Baptiste Maier’s frenetic beat and Stephane Grand’s frantic rumble rev through “Burn Notre Dame” – a bold reference to the cathedral’s 2019 drama – there’s no turning away from this record, where the alluring metallic balladry of “Hardly Wait” rubs shoulders with the arresting punk of “Miss Butch” while the bass-propelled “Susie Q” (the trio’s original, not a cover) creeps up on “Do You Wanna Have Fun?” to contrast dread and nervous merriment.
More so, the aggressive “Church” is set against the existential despair of “Algos” that finally establishes the answer to the collective’s riddles: marrying profanity to profundity, these latecomers are poised for great things.