Monday 22 July 2019

Albatros - Futile Review + Youtube Album Stream

Labels: Le Mort Records/Dingleberry Records/Zilpzalp Records/Les Disques Rabat-Joie/No Funeral Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 20 June 2019


1. Keasbey Nights III
2. King Kong and the Pogo Loco
3. Dusted with the Musket
4. Towering Terreur
5. Albo-Club 5 (Aller du Dépanneur)
6. Albo-Club 3 (Ditch the Snitch)
7. Y'a Faite Crotteau
8. (C'est qui ca?) Studge
9. Invincible 'till Death

10. La Crepine

Ever since I reviewed Albatros's split tape with TDOAFS, I've not been able to get enough of their unique brand of punk/hardcore. I think it was the brass that did it but these French Canadians really seemed to be doing something different and fun with their music and when I learnt about their latest album "Futile", I knew it'd be good. I've listened to it more than a few times since it's release in late June and have finally got around to writing about. It was released on vinyl and tape (via the labels listed above) and also digitally by the band themselves.

There’s something about the violent opening bars of Keasbey Nights III. The mix of blistering hardcore/off-kilter punk and the soothing nature of the brass makes it so addictive. It’s not cheesy like (some) ska, which helps. Not all songs on “Futile” are that heavy though and the amusingly titled King Kong and the Pogo Loco begins with completely the opposite vibe, before being thrust back into the hardcore fire. You get a sense of Mardi Gras during Dusted With The Musket, which is filled with chaotic urgency and catchy melody once again due to the brass that’s given space to breath on the recording. The recording actually captures the organic nature of Albatros really well and “Futile” is much more honest because of it. Towering Terreur is a heady mix of crazed punk with the odd rock element thrown in thanks to the riffs in part. 

There’s no time for hanging about on “Futile” either as Albatros leave only breaths between songs and those breaths are taken away with Albo-Club 5 (Aller Au Depanneur), which contains some of the fastest and noisiest drumming on the entire record. You’re smacked full-on in the chops by the throaty screams on Albo-Club 3 (Ditch The Snitch). In between the ferocity though, they do see fit to add in some really nice instrumental passages that break things up and make it even more listenable. As they progress through the record, they allow their songs to become lengthier. Y’a Faite Crotteau is by no means mid-paced but it’s got heaps of atmosphere, changing time-signatures and textures that will take you days or weeks to get your head round. (Ces’t Qui Ca?) Studge pretty much sums up why I like this band so much. Just listen to that intro section and you’ll understand why! The rest of song ain’t bad either!

The closing duo come around far too quickly and penultimate song Invincible ‘Till Death has an incredibly raw feel to it at times. That’s not doing it a disservice though as there’s still so many nuances to get stuck into. Rhythmically, they don’t stay in one place for long but it’s worth it. The longest number is left till last and Le Crepine is that crazy mix of grinding and intense hardcore mixed with unnerving metallic flourishes and the odd breakdown, that’s more emo than angry. Everything comes together in an obvious way and when they quieten down only to build up again after the two-minute mark, the peak Is reached and while it doesn’t fully spill over, things get very close. Abruptly, you’re left with silence but also the sense that you’ve listened to something that will stay with you forever.

Trying to describe music can never come close to actually becoming immersed in it. Do yourselves a favour and immerse yourselves in “Futile”.

You can stream and purchase "Futile" on vinyl and digitally below:-

You can also buy physical copies from the labels below:-

Also, if that wasn't enough I've been given very special permission by the band to stream the entire album via my YouTube channel. Please give it listen here as well -

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