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(32:55; Jack Dupon)
TRACK LIST: 1. Mute 4:46 2. Niout 5:30 3. Ludus 6:25 4. Taureau 9:21 5. Garagiste 6:53 LINEUP: Gregory Pozzoli - guitars, vocals Arnaud M'Doihoma - bass, vocals Thomas Larsen - drums, vocals Philippe Prebet - guitars, vocals
Prolusion. French band Jack Dupon have a history that stretch back to 2005, and in sixteen years and over seven studio albums and two live albums they have explored their particular variety of progressive rock. Often to critical acclaim at that. "La Republique Dominicale du Zoo" is their most recent studio album, and was self released in the spring of 2021.
Analysis. Jack Dupon have been categorized as a band residing inside the more avant-oriented part of the progressive rock universe ever since they started out, and they continue exploring these landscapes also on this most recent album of theirs. Challenging music is the name of the game here, where odd sounds and unusual timbres are used in compositions that more often than not develop in unusual manners and with a non-typical structure. All instrumentalists are given space and room to explore their expressive sides, and the same goes for the lead vocalists and backing vocalists. Whimsical features and dramatic vocal and instrument displays are common throughout, with the combination of harder and more dramatic guitars paired off with more elegant, quirky and relatively subtle yet expressive guitar details being something of a specialty of the band. Those fond of this band or French avant-garde progressive rock explored at it's most expressive and creative levels will find plenty to enjoy on this album, especially in the first half of this production. For the second half of this album the band takes a slightly more restrained approach to their music however, and document quite nicely that holding back a bit on the expressive details doesn't make the music any less entertaining. In fact, the slightly more conventional, funk-tinged album closing track 'Garagiste' may well be one of Jack Dupon's finest moments ever on a studio album. While a specialty of Jack Dupon is to make uplifting, whimsical music, the band also opts to explore some songs with an overall darker mood and atmosphere to them this time around, at least as far as the music is concerned. And for my taste in music at least I'd say that these excursions are just as solid as the rest of this album.
Conclusion. For me, Jack Dupon has been a band that represents the more interesting aspects of avant-garde progressive rock. Their music is most certainly more than challenging enough for those who admire more difficult music, but they also manage to capture that whimsical spirit that should make the music approachable and likeable to a an audience base also beyond the core Rock In Opposition and avant-garde progressive rock crowd. This latest album by them is a high quality addition to a discography I regard as strong, and for me it is easy to recommend this album to those with an interest or a curiosity towards the avant-garde section of the progressive rock universe.
Progmessor: August 2021
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