[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(33:06, Jack Dupon)
TRACK LIST: 1. Flowery Way 7:01 2. Burst Balloon 3:04 3. Broken House 6:54 4. Six Feet In Randan 11:31 5. The King Hedgehog 4:35 LINEUP: Gregory Pozzoli - guitars, vocals Arnaud M'Doihoma - bass, vocals Philippe Prebet - guitars, vocals Thomas Larsen - drums, vocals with: Paul Sears - drums
Prolusion. French band JACK DUPON has been a presence in the French music scene for more than a decade, and as recording artists they have issued new material on a regular basis from 2006 and onward. 5 studio albums, two live albums and one DVD have been released by the band so far. "Empty Full Circulation" is their most recent studio albums, and was self released by the band in 2016.
Analysis. Those familiar with this band will know pretty much what to expect whenever they release a new album, but for those so far unaware of this fine quartet, avant prog is the name of the game here, and a variety of it that is explored in what I associate with an undeniably French manner at that. Despite the band opting for English lyrics this time around. The lyrics isn't the primary function of this music however, at least not as far as I'm concerned. Those who love and treasure lyrics will most likely find them to be fitting companions to the music, but that aspect isn't one I focus on. For me, it is the music that is in focus, and the vocals is for me a part of the instrumentation more than anything else. And as has been the case with this band on all albums I've been lucky enough to be sent by them, this is a quirky and challenging affair, and yet also one that doesn't take itself too seriously. Funny and wacky instrument details is a feature throughout, alongside vocals that has a certain wacky and whimsical side to them as well. Not in a forced manner, but rather as a part of a controlled mayhem. Atonal details, psychedelic effects and subtle freak out undercurrents sit side by side with staccato guitar and rhythm backing and flowing, sharp and eerie guitar solo overlays. We get vocal harmonies, of sorts, but unconventional and theatrical in a manner that suits the music perfectly. The music is always moving, always with more than one thing going on, just about always busy and hectic. The band is a tight unit too, multiple albums and an active live presence over many years makes this band a rather well oiled machine. A machine possibly designed by someone like Salvador Dali, but still a machine and well functioning at that. I do find the band to be at their best when the vocals aren't given a dominant role though, and my only slight gripe here is the concluding cut The King Hedgehog due to that very aspect, as the instrumentation is toned down a bit in place of vocals in some central parts of this song. Other than that, an entertaining, high quality run through quirky French avantgarde territories.
Conclusion. If you know, love and treasure your progressive avantgarde rock, Jack Dupon is a name you should already be familiar with. If you for some reason or not aren't, just about any of their albums are good starting points for getting to become more familiar with them. "Empty Full Circulation" is on the same level as the rest, but as this is their sole English language production, those who prefer English language albums are well advised to pick up this one prior to the others. A good quality album, again, from this fine, French foursome.
Progmessor: April 22nd, 2018
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]