BURN WITCH BURN - Little Green Fairy (Nova Express)
There's some wonderful rock and roll to be found if you scratch just under the surface, and France's Little Green Fairy look to have tapped their own private motherlode. A dozen snarling balls of fuzz, posing as songs, and not a stinker among them.
Their first album was more than respectable but the tuneage is a touch stronger and more consistent on "Burn Witch Burn", and the playing more focussed. It's nothing pretentious, just sparse and an undercurrent of vocal melody, much of the aformentioned provided by Rauky. The other guitarist, La Mouche, provides a foundation that's soaked in fuzz, while Clarisse's drumming gets the whole thing along at an energetic pace. The lack of a bass is not a drawback, as it rocks well enough. He doesn't make a big deal of it on the album cover but mainman Rauky, I'm reliably informed, plays guitar one-handed, squeezing unearthly noises out of its neck and putting most able-bodied six-stringers in the shade.
Simple songs done simply are, more often than not winners, when played with energy, and the highlights range from the squawling title track to "Motown soul", which is underlaid with crazy keyboards (courtesy of label owner and co-producer Lucas Trouble (late of the Vietnam Veterans) and trademark guitar squall. Rauky's vocals take on a Mark Mothersburgh quality on "G. bye darling" where an insistent guitar figure wins the day. Wah-wah is heard to best effect on "Don't wanna be a fucking insect" (hey - an understandable sentiment.)
The psych thread that runs through these songs makes Little Green Fairy something out of the ordinary. No surprise to find this band on Nova Express, an idiosyncratic label populated by some of France's best underground outfits. Lucas Trouble provides a gritty studio sound for these tunes without them sounding under-produced.
If you're casting around, looking to hear something a bit different, you can do worse than chase this down. In fact, you should go out of your way to prcocure a copy. It pushes some boundaries. - The Barman
GREEN FEEDBACK ON YOU Little Green Fairy (Mars Attacks Records)
The nature of Rock is that it sometimes comes seeping out of the most unlikely places. Sonic Assassin member Rauky leads the three-piece from southern France with the funny name. Southern France is a great place to visit but hasnt been renowned for Rock Action since Keef and Co copped the eviction notice back in the early 70s. This disc makes us wonder if were getting out enough (air fares to Europe will be gratefully accepted).
Little Green Fairy throws out enough feedback and wah-wah on the opening track, Lobotomy For Ever, to underline that this is no ordinary fairy story. These are psychedelic-tinged excursions into hard-edged rock-pop. Its a mixed bag, but its rarely boring. Most Bar patrons will find something worthy here.
Occasional Bar reviewer Laurent Van Bouvelen hipped us to the LGF a couple of years ago. He rated their live show as something special and occasional reports form others have said nothing to the contrary. Rauky, drummer Clarisse and second guitarist La Mouche (why do French musos always have enigmatic names?) mostly do without a bass player. One guitarist usually lays down a solid foundation while the other flies off into the ether. Clarisse is rock solid behind the traps, driving the beat without filling every possible hole.
Choose Your Real Style is a blast of catchy rock-pop that recalls Dave Grohls Foo Fighters without the sharp edges filed off. It stops abruptly, resurrects itself as a Beefheart afterthought, and then morphs back into its original form. Its brother is a cut called I Wish (You Bite the Dust) that appears later on the disc.
Theres a quirky cover of Creedences Bad Moon Rising that begs no-ones indulgence as it does its business in just over two minutes and pisses off. The Onlything is a bracing bit of straight-up rock and roll. Hippy Girls (You Are All Smell So Go to Hell) wins best title, hands down, but isnt that memorable.
The closing No Lies features guest vocalist Jo Lebb (Jos a he) and bassist Marc Hacquet (a Kevin K collaborator, I think) and is curiously out of place. It shapes as a piece of American Midwest heartland rock, before some arresting La Mouche and Rauky guitarwork kicks it clear of Springsteenland.
Interesting stuff and procurable via the LGF website
- The Barman
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