It’s a mash up of all odds: 8-bit sounds meet Of Montreal pomp. Together, this strange amalgamation floods French Horn Rebellion‘s debut album, The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion. Over 14 epic tracks, there’s hardly a low-tempo moment at hand; it’s an effort relying on your dancing shoes.
At this it often succeeds, and with pastiche and satire abound, you often aren’t sure what masks brotherly duo Robert and David Perlick-Molinari are deciding to wear as they conjure then mimic a handful of genres. A number of songs are disco-infused. Right off the bat, second track This Moment takes the decadence of Saturday Night Fever to new levels, and this sort of, call it a celebration of sorts, continues across the board. There are elements of funk, doo-wop, and dance that carry the album’s up-tempo feel, especially over tracks like “Running Through the Wild”, “What I Want”, and “The Body Electric”. To add a spin to an album already full of them, the duo includes “Last Summer”, a more poignant foray into a kind of indie-electronica.
For that reason it’s quite difficult to decide where you’d want to pigeon-hole The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion; that is, if you were wanting to pigeon-hole it at all. While the album generally keeps within the dance mode, you get the feeling that often the band are playing through various personalities, and it gets a little difficult to pin them down.
But this may have been the band’s intention all along. Reading their online biography, not on the whole informative, and kooky to the point of annoyance, we’re told that listening to French Horn Rebellion is like we were on the dance floor a second ago, now we are in SPACE and SOME OF US ARE NAKED! Some of us are UPSIDE DOWN and naked, which is not a good look for us! Whats going on? What in the name of all thats decent and right is going on? Wah! Im a giant baby looking at the earth like in that flick! Wahhh!”, which can only very overtly imply that these artists have something of an inflated sense of self importance. Or, they just like screwing around.
Crazy or not, it undermines what is essentially a strong debut. Album closer “Antarctica/The Decision” is one of the best instrumental tracks you’ll hear this year, and the album’s more downcast moments – “The Cantor Meets the Alien”, “The Void and Fancy Free” are reminiscent of The Flaming Lips.
Really, it’s a shame that the album is so long: at least half of the tracks here are great but the relentless pounding of dance beats, particularly when there’s little to distinguish one from another, drains you a little. That said, this is absolutely worth a listen and it’s easy to believe there’s stronger (more focused) stuff to come. Until then, focus on the heavies and dance if you please.