Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
Bon Chic Bon Genre
Mainly, it's fear that delays our time....
Kick-off. Superlatives. Tough propaganda.
'Bon Chic Bon Genre', in both name and content, is the enemy of comfort. It takes its name from a French S&M mag, it has a pretty uncompromising set of attitudes towards women, and it says its piece largely, loudly, and in the harshest tones possible. It's punk-rock dance music. It's hip-drone rock. You could put it in a club or install it somewhere and serve hors d'oeuvres, while guests admire a death's head screen print. It's been made by a group who number an idiot savant with his own cracked syntax, a landscape gardener, and a bloke who used to be in the Brand New Heavies. And above all, its purpose is to unsettle.
Heat the exposition. Lively.
Simply, Campag Velocet are way out of the rut. In 'Bon Chic Bon Genre', it's self-evident that this is the work of a group who just have more ideas than anyone else: from the appearance of their record (Day-Glo sleaze propaganda), a lyrical stance that can encompass a song sung in Nadsat - Anthony Burgess' language of ultraviolence - to Pete Voss' remarks about a woman with "scabby legs and
flip-flops". Stooges riffing meeting orchestral sweeps. Insurrectionary funk rock. Ambient sloganeering. Maybe it's not so surprising that it took Campag a while to get signed. They require a leap of faith, and who's got the guts for that now?
The reward is substantial. The sheer oddness of this record, the way it flirts with commerciality but keeps its conviction ('Only Answers Delay Our Time'), grooves while it noodles ('Sauntry Sly Chic'), speaks words of love in the voice of a market trader ('Vito Satan') is a musical language that you just don't hear any more. Campag Velocet have no weather eye on the midweeks, no ear to the ground for prevailing trend. They have made an excellent, surprising - and most importantly, modern - record because it's within their power to do so. Campag Velocet, basically, know no fear.
Time to move on. Let's have it!
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