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Labyrinthes

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Album Review

Labyrinthes is one of those records where frustration over impossibility to pinpoint who do these guys sound so damn like gets so strong it distracts from the actual music, despite it being quite worth the attention. It's indie rock, sure, but that doesn't tell much, and beyond that, Malajube skirts precise tagging with the grace of a fish you try to nab with your bare hands during a seaside vacation. They are a guitar band with mostly mid-tempo songs made up of smooth, melodic guitar textures and soft half-whispered vocals, which brings them close to a Francophone answer to Death Cab For Cutie or Belle & Sebastian. But every so often, they abandon the quiet indie pop nooks to go on a quest for some loud alternative rock drama, which lands them not too far from Muse or early Radiohead (think The Bends), and on the album's closer, they even channel the devastating post-metal crunch of Russian Circles. Elsewhere, they lapse into short piano interludes evoking French rom-com soundtracks that, on a record from Quebec, were likely meant to be a post-modernist play, but come across slightly puzzling because Labyrinthes does not offer a lot of pop games otherwise. The whole thing remains admiringly cohesive to the point it's hard to tell the songs apart, but this unity is achieved through studio polish which robs the music of individuality — at least, to some degree. Labyrinthes is still a smart, neat indie treat, but if it avoids copying any other band outright, it also stops short of being a record other bands would rush to copy.

Customer Reviews

Wow.

I have been reading reviews of Labyrinthes in anticipation of the U.S. release, and a majority of them have chastised Malajube for changing their sound and not keeping the same lightheartedness as their previous releases. Though the sound has definitely changed, it is a matured, deeper sound. From the unexpected twists of the chords, to the almost Ted Neugent-esque guitar riffs at times, Malajube has certainly amazed me with this release. Be sure to check out Ursuline and Christobald.

A Great Band

You know, you don't have to speak French to enjoy this album. It's beautiful music, no matter what language you speak. Personally, my favorite is Ursuline-the piano music is so pretty, and it's all very heartfelt. The whole album is a good buy.

Great Quebic music!

I first heard this band in Last.fm and I downloaded the one song, which was good. But one day I got bored and checked their other music and found out it was good! It's a great band, and I don't speak French but it's great music.

Biography

Formed: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Bringing to mind a French Super Furry Animals, Montreal rock band Malajube include Julien Mineau (vocals/guitar), Francis Mineau (drums), Mathieu Cournoyer (bass), Thomas Augustin (keyboard), and Renaud Bastien (guitar/keyboard). In addition to releasing the albums Le Compte Complet (2004, produced by Martin Pelland of the...
Full Bio
Labyrinthes, Malajube
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