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Les Biberons Batis - Ok! C'est Correct!

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Artist: Les Biberons Batis

Album: Ok! C'est Correct!

Label: Mucho Gusto/Tir Groupe

Review date: Jun. 3, 2003

A Junkyard of Sound,
A Lack of Purpose

Attempting to combine humor and music is a dangerous thing; nine times out of 10 I find that attempts end up sacrificing the quality of the music to serve a dubious comedic effort. It's even worse, then, if it's not clear from listening whether what you're hearing is supposed to be funny. Goofiness pervades the songs on Ok! C'est Correct!, but serves as a detriment to the music. Waves of electronic sounds and guitar noises are thrown about in lieu of actual interesting song-writing, while straight-up silly vocals make much of this album simply annoying. Essentially, the pieces don't feel like they have a point – they're just odd assortments of sounds without any development or connection. The combinations of sounds seem randomly thrown together without much thought put into the results.

Bruno Tanguay a.k.a. Satan Belanger, the man behind this primarily solo effort, is the manager of a record store in Montreal and so-called "professional archeologist of the lost groove". Given this, I was expecting the beats to at least be imaginative on this album, but instead they get short shrift, buried beneath a wasteland of random synth emissions and clumsy guitar noises.

“Attaque,” for example consists of two minutes of repetitive, simplistic guitar riffs, basic synth sounds, and vocals recorded low-fi to the point of distortion. Or "OK Correct," a seemingly random collection of sounds and noises. Still, those are better than "The Smoocher," with its grunge-encrusted echoing guitar and truly annoying vocals, or the seven minutes of randomness entitled "Existe-t-il Une Nature Humaine?" Miscellaneous electronic and guitar-derived noises bob about like lost fish in a pond while occasional spoken words surface, lent a vaguely pompous air thanks to a heavy reverb. Likewise "Escalope Ma Salope," an amateurish blend of guitar and analog synth sounds abetted by violin scrapings and weepings, topped with declamatory vocals. Its four and a half minutes feel like an eternity.

There are some brighter moments here, such as the goofy but somewhat endearing opening track, "Ca Sent L'ail." Its heavy beats and rubbery bass guitar support some weird chanting vocals, and the piece as a whole has a pleasant propulsive feel. "Elastic Dubstar" offers twangy guitar and clattering drums with some nice, if predictable, dubbed-out delay effects and plenty of synths. And "Ja N'irai Pas Jouer Live," while uncomfortably reminiscent of ELP with its stiff feel, lays down a memorable melody over a good bass synth and straight drum rhythm.

There are unfortunately only momentary spots of much-needed focus amidst an hour of rambling, nearly unlistenable sound assemblages. It seems as though Tanguay is content to cobble together layers of electronics and guitars, throw in the occasional unrelated drum loop, then talk over it all. While the lyrics might earn him an occasional chuckle or two, more is required for a rewarding experience.

By Mason Jones

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