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L'eau rouge (Red Water)

The Young Gods

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Album Review

"La Fille de la Mort" begins this album so perfectly that it becomes immediately clear how much more striking the already powerful band had become; beginning with a simple boulevardier melody and lyric (even though, as the title indicates, it's about the daughter of Death!), it slowly but relentlessly builds over the course of eight minutes, suddenly bursting into a beautiful orchestral sample loop that is then staggered and distorted, punctuated by sharp drums and finally concluding with guitar pulses on top of that. It's a stunning, unique way to start, and the album easily lives up to that opening promise. Tracks like the fast-paced roar "Longue Route" and the title song — a celebration of 'red water, ' the female period — maintain a fierce, sharp tension between rock rhythms (new drummer Use Hiestand shows much more flexibility than his predecessor), huge riffs and classical stabs, all with Treichler's powerful, gravelly voice invoking any number of striking natural and elemental images, putting the lie to the claim that rock can't happen in French. There's even time for more traditional French cabaret tunes like "Charlotte," while "Les Enfants" takes the classical bombast to an even higher level. Originally available only as a single, "L'Amourir" remains the album's and the band's high point, a brilliantly arranged and performed combination of guitar riff samples and powerful drumming, accentuated by a snaky bass pulse/snort throughout and Treichler's climactic roar over a wailing guitar loop.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Geneva, Switzerland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Swiss electro-noise terrorists the Young Gods traced their origins back to 1982, when Geneva-based frontman Franz Treichler, increasingly bored with his then-current new wave band, began experimenting with a small sampler. Influenced as well by the visceral power of punk and the grand drama of classical music, he began creating abrasive guitar and drum loops, and with sampler Cesare Pizzi and percussionist Frank Bagnoud, founded the Young Gods in 1985; named in an honor of a Swans composition, the...
Full bio
L'eau rouge (Red Water), The Young Gods
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