CONFIDENTIAL - The Layers (self released)
If rock and roll is going down it's not hitting the canvas without a fight. They might be a mere blip on a radio programmer's radar and never likely to trouble a chart compiler, but French band The Layers (and others like them) are fighting The Good Fight.

"Confidential" is a five-track EP recorded in two days at a hole-in-the-wall studio in Lyon. It's a varied effort, drawing on a range of diverse influences from Radio Birdman, the Flamin" Groovies and the Stones to Lou Reed, John Cale and French acid-droppers the Vietnam Veterans. They Layers are a guitar-bass-and-drums line-up with the vocals being shared around. They're a bit of a blind spot at times, although a guy wearing the name Matt1 has since taken on the microphone full-time and sings the opener "Sin".

"My Vampire" is a nod in the direction of the Screaming Tribesmen and is pretty solid with guitarist DoG dropping in a nice solo and Dennis Troufleau vamping away on piano from the halfway point. The maudlin "Town With No Past" drags a bit too much.

"I'll Be The Devil" bears a passing resemblance to the Velvets' "Rock and Roll", while "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (a DoG original, not a cover) works some backward masking in against sharp riffing and gets my nod as the best cut here. "Confidential" is no world-changer (how many records are?) but has its moments. I'm hoping rock and roll stays out of the critical care ward long enough for The Layers to get around to issuing a long-player. - The Barman


 

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