The much anticipated second LP from those ferocious francophiles Les BOF! has finally arrived, following a break of no less than 8 years. I for one was delighted to hear that news, and being an Edinburgh resident, I’ve been lucky enough to see them play live locally more than a few times over the last couple of years, and of course headline at last year’s Beatwave away down in sunny Hastings
Voila! serves up a selection of raw ‘60s beat and garage that is as fine and as pungent as an expensive Fromargerie. There’s a balance of well chosen covers and originals. The opening track is a cover of a much loved rock and roll standard. ‘If ever the Devil’s plan was made to torment men...’, Monsieur Mombel vocally expresses his disdain, it certainly sounds more angry and passionate sung in French. I can almost see him stamping his foot, tossing his head, chin jutting out - he leaves the listener in no doubt that it was indeed you, 'Jezebel' (run for the hills my dear!). 'Vie De Chien' is definitely my bag (haha) with it’s to-die-for ‘66 fuzzed-out riffage, as is 'Leberes Moi'. Standouts of the originals are 'Fin Du Monde', 'Drogue & Roll' - not only because it features a Vibraphone and Stylophone, it’s also deliciously Dutronc and a bit genius; and lastly short but sweet instro 'Port St. Louis'.
The overall mood is stylish, aloof, smart and very dance-able, all of which encapsulate that distinct Ravencraig Studios magic - the recording has clarity, and the equipment that is, without a doubt utilised here, produces a sound that (no matter what anyone else says) cannot be reproduced using digital equipment. It’s both warm and sharp, authentic, and it’s the NOW sound!! Should you purchase this LP? Yé-Yé!
Les BOF! Launch their LP Voila! in Edinburgh on Friday June 7th at La Belle Angele, Edinburgh with support from Thee Girl Fridays (not that I’m biased, but this is going to be a killer show), and on Saturday 8th June at The Finsbury, London with support from The Liquorice Experiment and The Cretins.
Voila! is available from bandcamp via Dirty Water Records here.