Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Made In France

Ever since I can remember I've been using public libraries, as a child I was always down there borrowing books to feed my thirst, as I got older and interested in music I started using the record lending service, which was a great way to learn about jazz and classical music as at this period popular music was a dirty word for librarians. Some thirty odd years down the line I'm still visiting my local library on a regular a basis and am pleased to say that contemporary music has now found itself a place there, or at least it has in France. I find this a great way for checking out new or unknown artists with the minimum of financial risk, of late I've also started borrowing at least one disc by a French artist each visit, the choice is often rather arbitrary and may be made by the bands name, album name, sleeve design or as was the case with today's band a song title.

And so it was to be that Maximum Kouette exploded out of nowhere into my life and for no other reason than their latest album, 'Et Elors', rounded itself off with a ditty entitled 'Fuck Me Tender'. I was intrigued was this some dumb punk thrash take on the old Elvis standard on something different altogether? Well the song is in fact inspired by the other song but has a life and soul all of its own and is well worth a listen, the introduction is a nice sleazy jazz sax over some good old vinyl surface noise, followed by a laid back French temptress in full chanson mode and the naughty chorus complete with Elvis style 'Uh hu hu'. The rest of the album is a nice mix of guitar led punk pop with enough new technology for it not to be too retro. I particularly like their use of sax and trumpet to such good effect without being invasive and the strong in your face female vocals that are at times menacing and at others seductive. Over all the album is a good time fun record and I'm sure that live the band are more than capable of warming up the coldest of audiences. 'Va T'Faire' is a good example of this with it's grunge meets industrial guitars being the backbone to this infectious pop number that boasts electronics straight out of the eighties and as for the lyrics let's just say they are none to polite, maybe just as well the majority of you will not understand them!! Now that's got you wondering and running for your French/English dictionaries hasn't it?
As for the band, a healthy seven piece, they date from the mid 90's Paris bar/club scene where they spent the last years of the century paying their dues and refining their repertoire. It wasn't until 2000 that they released their first album, 'Et Alors' from 2006 is their fourth to date. If you like what you've heard there are some MP3 files illustrating their earlier albums for download on the bands web site and who knows maybe one of you will even buy one of their records.

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