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Anthologie des 3 perchoirs

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Album Review

Montreal new wave revivalists Duchess Says are less interested in note-perfect re-creations of the sound of MTV's first few years than they are in adapting the style's basic building blocks — warped funk rhythm sections, scratchy rhythm guitar lines, monophonic synths, hiccuppy vocals — into a modern structure. Therefore, their debut full-length kicks off with the song "Tenen Non Neu," a two-minute blast of punky new wave fury featuring a rubbery bass riff front and center behind singer Annie-Claude Deschenes' feral, wordless howl of a lead vocal. Heavier than the bands they take their main influences from, Duchess Says add grinding punk and metal elements to tracks like "Ccut Up" and the alternately droning and shrieking "La Friche," keeping them from sounding like the wimpy little A Flock of Seagulls wannabes that too many bands in the new wave revival scene end up as. (Comparisons to the equally aggressive fellow Montrealer Peaches and labelmates Lesbians on Ecstasy, whose shtick brings earnest old gay-themed pop songs to the contemporary dancefloor, are perhaps pertinent here.) They're not completely married to the whole '80s thing anyway: the album's sole cover is a tightly wound version of "Rabies (Baby's Got The)" by '90s noise-rockers Six Finger Satellite, which suggests an admirably broad grasp of the history of their particular brand of skronky noise pop. Equally fun for mindless freestyle dancing and armchair detective games of "Spot the Influence" (dig how much Deschenes sounds like Missing Persons' Dale Bozzio on "Black Flag"!) Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs is a charmingly rough-edged gem.


Formed: 2003 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Montreal's Duchess Says formed in 2003 out of the mysterious "Church of Budgerigars." The group's members, keyboardist/guitarist Ismael Tremblay, bassist Philippe Clément, vocalist/guitarist Annie-Claude Deschênes, and percussionist Simon "Simon Says" Besre all claim to have come together out of their membership in this little-known church to further the religion's message through music. The group also self-identifies as "Moog rock," mixing synthesizers with dancy punk rhythms. The band's first album,...
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Anthologie des 3 perchoirs, Duchess Says
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