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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After Life, France


After Life - Cauchemar. 1975 Discophon.

Reissued on LP by Wah Wah, but no CD as of yet. After Life are one of those insane rarities, so obscure that it’s just now surfacing to the collector market. They were a French group whose only album gained a release in Spain. Turns out someone was digging through an old farmhouse in Aragon and found a stash under the hay, behind the pitchforks....or something. As for the music, it’s one of the most baffling releases I’ve heard in years. On the plus half, there’s a haunting progressive laced sound, with that doomy vibe only the French seem to conjure up. Recalls first album East of Eden or The Visitors, and the vocalist has that gruff voice which is very similar to the guy from Alusa Fallax. Most of these are sung, whispered, or narrated in French. The Visitors influence is not that surprising when one learns that the master of all things obscure is involved: J.P. Massiera. On the downside, and I mean really down, there’s these godawful rock-n-roll tracks, like Bad Company playing the most insipid Bachman Turner Overdrive tunes. Complete with honky-tonk piano, harmonica and badly accented English vocals. It’s not a good A-side, bad B-side situation, but rather they are intertwined for an entirely frustrating listen. Obtain a cheap copy, but don’t spend too much time digging for it – at a record show or in the barns of the Spanish landscape...

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