Les Olivensteins-Ep

December 2, 2011

Les Olivensteins



I must resist the need to be verbose here since there is not much to go on here. All I know is that Les Olivensteins recorded a fairly amazing ep in 1979. I know they are from France and that this ep seems like a sturdy bridge from the utterly brilliant 70s French rock comp Tetes Lourdes(which can be found on this site) to its punk rock cousin. All I know is both releases emanated from France and never fail to capture a sense of urgency and sloppiness that is lacking from music today. Totally catchy with a nasty streak a mile wide, Les Olivensteins is okay with me anytime. Both Tetes Lourdes and this ep give me hope there is some undiscovered golden age in 70s French music that will someday be discovered by your truly. Please school me if I am deaf, dumb and blind to something brilliant beyond Metal Urbain.

V/A-Tetes Lourdes

December 9, 2008


Various Artists

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.