December 9, 2008
Tetes Lourdes(No Label)
When I think of gritty psychedelic rock and roll, France would be near the bottom of my list. If you were discussing wellsprings of 70s prog, then I may consider France as a contender for the crown, but I have mistakenly associated it too closely with Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Fontaine and Magma. I love a lot of the music France has foisted upon the world, but Tetes Lourdes has renewed my appreciation of the country’s contribution to 70s hard rock. In fact, much of the material collected on this bootleg falls somewhere between the James Gang, 70s metal and 60s psych rock. To be honest, the combo of these three phrases is more than enough to inspire devotion and love from this grimy soul.
To be honest, it isn’t one of those comps that fire on all cylinders. Some of it is just as bloated and cliched as other anonymous hard rock acts of the 70s, but half of it is postively brilliant and life-affirming in the way hoary rock chestnuts can be when it hits that perfect ratio of sleaze, fuzz, riffery and two-pack a day vocals. The absolute highlights of this comp are provided by Rotomagus whose “Fighting Cock” is nearly punk in its execution and absolutely ridiculous in its portrayal of a badass rooster in search of battle. This song is so raw and nasty that it makes the entire comp an essential listed by its mere inclusion. Their next contribution “Madame Wanda” veers into more familiar terrain with plenty of wah-wah and some psychedelic wailing choruses and upliting riffs that borrow from the majesty and grace of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. The rest of the acts on Tetes Lourdes aren’t as innovative, but marry enough sleaze to their melodies to keep everything on par with the insanity of Rotomagus’ unexpected explosiveness.