Friday, 15 March 2013

Aguirre - S/T


Okay, so I seem to be going through a bit of a screamo phase at the moment, well actually a French screamo phase! This is another CD from Orchidscent Records. Aguirre are a French screamo type band and this is their six track self-titled CD. Like the other records I've reviewed recently, all the lyrics are in French. It was also released by a co-operative of four labels, the aforementioned Orchidscent Records, Maldoror, Dream Comes True and Emotionally Unstable. I've recently learned that Aguirre are no longer a band.

Before I review the CD itself though, I wanted to talk about them packaging, because as you can see from the cover above it's pretty special.


Dodgy photo apart, the CD and liner booklet comes in an awesome five panel, foldout sleeve encased in that funky artwork.


Inside, the CD is housed in a further black envelope, with the foldout liner notes and more Spirograph inspired artwork. All in all it's really nice and there's more and more of this type of packaging being produced by DIY labels which is certainly better than the drab, plain plastic CD cases that mainstream labels are using.

Onto the CD itself then....

Tracklist:-

1. Desordre
2. Cercles
3. Longtemps
4. Raclure
5. Morts De Rire
6. Murmures

On first listen to Desordre, Aguirre have a kind of garage-punk twinned with AFI style sound. It's not as harsh as some of the previous music I've reviewed. The vocals are a mix of spoken/sung/screamed and all in French. The guitars a clean, melodic and the drums throw out some great rhythms. They certainly like the instrumental side of screamo, as the vocals are used sparingly. When they are used though, they do jump out at you thanks to clear production and their position in the mix. The sound of Cercles is more discordant to begin with, the guitars taking on a fuzzier slant. The song overall in more chaotic and punky, but the mid-passage is really danceable. It's also more stop-start in nature, which adds impact to the different sections.

It's an eye opener listening to different country’s takes on screamo because each band brings their own influences to the fore and plays with a subtle originality when held up against their peers. Aguirre are no exception to this, with each song on the record sounding different. Longtemps has more of a downbeat and menacing feeling to it. The same riff plays through the verses, creating a kind of droning effect. The choruses are more chaotic, especially with the added weight of the bass in the mix. There's a definite DIY element to the music too. Aguirre are quite happy to play what they want to and how they want and with that they retain integrity.

Raclure is initially a calmer song, without the chaos of Longtemps before it. It features a long instrumental build up and then Aguirre jump back into full flow. There's a lot going overall in Aguirre's music and with repeat listens you'll uncover more and more. The contrast between the quieter/Noisier parts of their music are very effective and they don't rely on clich├ęd musical influences, instead going for a more punk inspired tone.

That tone carries on into Morts De Rire. The guitars again flit between discordance and clean, melodic riffs. The way that Aguirre structure their songs makes them seem longer than they actually are, which is an interesting skill to have. As a band they don't write particularly long songs, but I guess the stop start motion changes how you perceive them. Murmures closes things of in the same way that the CD started. More angular but equally danceable and listenable.

Overall, this CD has something very individual about it. It's not your usual screamo record and Aguirre definitely have their own personality and sound. It's well worth picking up.

This CD isn't streaming anywhere so you'll just have to pick up a copy via the below labels:-

Orchidscent Records - http://orchidscentrecords.blogspot.co.uk/
Dream Comes True - http://dreamcomestruehxc.free.fr/ (Site currently under construction but eventually it'll be live)
Emotionally Unstable - http://emotionallyunstablerecords.over-blog.net/

Aguirre are on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/familleaguirre.

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