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30 July 2017

The Honeymoon Killers ‎- 'Les Tueurs De La Lune De Miel' (Riskant)

Don't confuse them with the early Jon Spencer band! This Belgian group actually put out an album before this under the band name Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel, but it wasn't as bouncy or sharp as this one, and the band name was a mouthful, even though it just means 'honeymoon killers' in French. Marc Hollander & Vincent Kenis from the brilliant Aksak Maboul are present here and their influence is felt, surely. These songs are bursting with energy, driven by either the vocals of Yvon Vromman or Véronique Vincent, and there's all sorts of electric energy tracing around the edge. Somehow punk is never very convincing when sung in a French accent but 'Fonce À Mort' comes pretty damn close; there's random dub/echo effects on the drums, broken glass synth lines, and saxophone bleats to keep you on your toes. Every song is driving and dancey without being monotonous; they're not a million kilometres from American bands from the same time like Pylon or Suburban Lawns. 'Ariane' is the hit I always play the most, which is actually instrumental; there's another version of it I heard on the radio once, from a 7", which is even better. The lyrics are printed in French and German for this German edition. I struggle with my high school level French to get what the songs are about, but 'Flat' starts off by talking about listening to Fleetwood Mac and 'J4' seems to narrate a story of domestic life. But I could be totally wrong; it doesn't really matter, since I'm enjoying the whole package. Aksak's more avant-garde tendencies are held in check here, with some straight-up hooks and fun keyboard parts, a goofy version of 'Route Nationale 7' that is practically novelty music except it's just so good, especially when followed by 'Ariane', a spacey anthem of paleofuturism. It's where pop music can be radical and challenging and while this would sound like a post-Rough Trade retro band now, something about the French accent gives it an earnestness that perseveres; like Family Fodder minus the irony, or I guess more like Aksak Maboul with the prog knob turned all the way down. The closing cut ('L'Heure De La Sortie') is the slow plodder sung with a robot voice, yet it's awesome. If they had been on my honeymoon, it would have been enhanced, not killed. Oh yeah, there's a Serge Gainsbourg cover, too ('Laisse Tomber Les Filles'). Fantastic.

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