Le Coup Du Parapluie

Philosophie, bien-être et crimes passionnels

Written by: PP on 25/12/2010 02:03:25

Here's a Belgian band whose name I'm going to repeat only once in this review given its length and difficulty to remember how to spell it: Le Coup Du Parapluie, henceforth known as "the band". It's a French translation of the film "The Umbrella Coup", which is inspired by the assassinations of Bulgarian dissidents using the so-called Bulgarian Umbrella. I won't pretend that I knew that beforehand, so I'll admit sourcing that from a Wikipedia article. Anyway, a band name like that, let alone an album title like "Philosophie, bien-être et crimes passionnels" ("Philosophy, wellness and crimes of passion") exhibits a certain pretentious vibe of artistic hipsterness. Not in the indie rock way, but you know, the "I watch foreign films" kind of intellectual way. Yet it suits the premise of what this band is all about: taking artistic ambition to another level.

At first, you're likely to write off the band as yet another offshoot in the resurgence of original screamo/post-hardcore. You know, bands like Traktor, Kaospilot, et al whose carefully contrived soundscapes automatically emit a certain degree of artistic ambition and understanding for atmospherics given their usually confined feeling of space, or rather, lack thereof, as well as an intense delivery whether by scream or by dark and mellow cleans. But these guys don't really scream at all, instead spending extensive amounts of time exploring different styles and sounds within the genre. Sometimes it means off tune riffs and calm singing, at other times it's an almost chaotic symbiosis of distorted keyboards, pummeling drums and feedback-driven guitars. In a way, it shares much in common with the latest Traktor album and some of Refused's braver material, except this band takes the level of experimentalism a step further.

While I can certainly see where they are going with this, it leaves me with a bit of a question mark on my head whether this much experimentation is a benefit or a detriment to this band. It ensures a high level of creative worth throughout the record, but also prevents it from becoming a truly great release, mostly because the songs are so introverted and complex that they never truly open up to the listener. As for my own preferences, I find that when the band are really sticking with the original post-hardcore tag, bursting out with hard-hitting Refused-inspired riffs, they are at their best. But others, specially those into cinematic atmospheres and probably post-rock as well, are likely to find their extensive experimentation with moods more preferable. In the end, it all comes down to your individual answer to the following question: how did you always perceive that guy we all knew in school who was slightly introverted, but oddly complex, who used to recite poetry in the few conversations you had with him, which usually were about the perplexing complexities of French cinema or reflections on recent modern art analysis pieces?

Download: La Chasse a la Baleine
For the fans of: Traktor, Refused, Fugazi
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date June 2010

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