PEPE DELUXÉ – Queen of the Wave (2012)

Review by: Charly Saenz
Album assigned by: Eric Pember

Pepe Deluxé! A strange name for a band (reminds me of my Uncle Pepe, a great cook, but hardly a Pop fan). As the Youtube trailer (!) suggests, this is a B-Movie turned into a Pop Opera, no less. Hell of an idea, I imagine how thrilled Tarantino would be listening to this while playing with Uma’s feet.

And as we say in Spanish “Looks can be deceiving”. This might as well be the modern “Forever Changes”. It succeeds to be humourous, electronic, cheesy, soundtrack-y, hard rocking in parts, epic in others, and it’s filled with lots of details.

“Queenswave” starts off as a low-key overture. A beautiful peaceful song that soon turns into something else, Arabic sounds first, a Jethro Tull quality flute, a pulsating bass, a soothing voice, then the guitar joining an almost dance-worthy drum pattern.  A fantastic piece for this age.

“A night and a day” – A very deep groove, the woman’s voice unravels an almost electronic and powerful line (Something Moby would have loved to have written), and it all goes up, soulful, and then a little bit of psychedelia – that unexpected break at 2:45, and the bassline could be Macca in Sgt Pepper’s, and then it’s all hard rocking,  jarring enough to wake you up from the dead.

“Go Supersonic” – B-52s turned into a Japanese Female Pop Band? Humourous, yes, and some nice grated cheese for good measure. The girls’ chorus is totally enthralling, catchy as hell. When they go operatic (is that a word?) it gets a little odd, but soon the main melody is back and it could go all night in your club and nobody would mind you dancing with your tie off, for once in your life.

“Hesperus Garden” – Retro-charged Electronica to keep shaking your hips, you hipster. I bet if we get Kill Bill 3, Quentin would be happy to include this in some bloodbath scene. 

“In The Cave” is a short dreamy interlude with a .. Stalacpipe Organ? This calls for Vincent Price. Watch the YT video, it’s.. special (a Nagra tape recorder I want one!!)

“My Flaming Thirst”, you can always count on some witty and unemployed Youtuber to give you the key: “Best Bond Song never used in a Bond movie ever!” (sic). That summarizes it. More cheese with keyboards, a great female voice, dismaying girls singing in the background, you can dance to this while you’re escaping the bullets and jumping from building to building. Probably in Paris. Not easy but it’s even better than “A view to a kill”.

“Iron Giant”, a kind of lo-fi musical box, children’s song and “The Storm” (Godzilla coming?) don’t dissapoint but it’s “Riders of The First Ark” the strong ending a demented and lovely outre ouevre like this deserves: A harsh male voice, and as any respectable closing number, a (finnish) cowboy harmonica, girls singing over heavy drums, returning glorious guitars…  And a mysterious coda, almost like a George Martin tape played backwards with some more harmonica, a church organ of course.. and… The Waves.. waving you.. Goodbye.

Children, *please* do try this at home, we’ve had enough of unfunny experiments, of safe market-ready media, let’s go a little crazy, “Music needs more chaos” as Morrison used to say, use the past to your advantage and feed on the modern marvels to make you (us) happy.

END OF MY REVIEW!
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Author: tomymostalas

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