dimanche 17 octobre 2010

Horse Feathers, Oh No Ono, Wild Palms, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Fleche D'Or, 08.10.10

Making my return trip to Fleche D'Or tonight, complete with another cheeky guest list spot courtesy of The Parisian, Bird on The Wire [a London based promotions act, 'bringing the best in new music' to many a European city] have cooked up a collection of assorted representatives for tonight's show and so we are treated to Paris' very own International Song Contest.

Arriving just in time to hear the last tame whisper of Horse Feathers, their music hits me with about as much force as that of a feather. A shame as, hailing from the same state as the late, great Sleater Kinney and Gossip, I was foolish enough to believe all things from Portland Oregon were born and bred on rock and roll. Sadly, Sam Cooper [the front man of the quartet] got a banjo and Mandolin from Santa for Christmas rather than an electric guitar. Not even the [frankly remarkable] discovery that they are actually on the same legendary Kill Rock Stars label as SK, can distract from the fact that they are folk. Feathery, flimsy, feeling-less folk*
*NB. See Damien Rice and/or Mumford and Sons for references.

There was certainly an element of surprise, having never heard Oh No Ono before, when the lead singers first helium harmony broke from his voice box. As if fronted by a Danish Billy Corgan, the bands impressive array of [admittedly rather high] harmonies soars over a sparkling plateau of tinkling keys, whirling rhythms and psychedelic, cyber groove. Hailing from Denmark, a country renowned for bringing us Saturday night pop tart Whigfield, fantastic-plastic Aqua and not to mention, good bacon, this Copenhagen quintet are prime synth pop rump. There are elements of MGMT'S follow up, and controversially more eccentric, album Oracular Spectacular; particularly myspace title track, Helplessly Young. Their songs, and performance, are both tender and perfectly cooked up; a Danish prize export.

Now for a taste of England, Wild Palms dispel my homesick blues with familiar, and hearty, London accents [as well as their 80s chunky knits.] Newly signed to One Little Indian, Wild Palms surge with looming and distorted bass drones and jump start guitars like that of their punk predecessors, Gang of Four. Their somewhat roguish charm is thanks to awkward and angular front man, Lou Hill whose spoken melodies and equally irksome chants are tinged with Talking Heads hooks and Beefhearts burly command. Previous single, 'Deep Dive' stands out tonight with it's reverb drenched guitar chords and tribal beats. Whilst Hills' homely howls swirl around the venue, the haunting memory of new single 'Draw In Light' is enough to make me come over all patriotic. Taking the post punk formula and making a few welcome and innovative additions, Wild Palms prove that British really is Best.


Tonight's final act, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin [who frankly deserve an abbreviation for such an annoyingly long name] complete the all inclusive feel to the night, currently on a European tour from the States. Rather dismally, however, they don't score very highly, reminding me of a poor man's Fountains of Wayne [and that's saying something, not being the most formidable band in themselves] squeaky clean, perfect pop hooks, they don't even last the three song rule as I have a metro to catch and I never really liked Russian history anyway. SSLYBY as an abbreviation doesn't really work and neither does the Americano, indie bravado of this band. If you're looking for that, head for the classics, as Jimmy Eat World play this same venue just next month. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin; do they? Nil Point.

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