Les Vipères: La première fois / Terroriste / Ma solitude et moi / Rechercher / Blood Airport.
Holy Curse: Streets Of Sleep / Too Much Paranoïa / Nights Of Sin / I Don't Dance / City Kids.
Les Vipères: V. Posadski Vipère: guitare, batterie, voix / S. Vipère: batterie, guitare, voix / F.Vipère: guitare, voix / J. Vipère: basse, voix.
Holy Curse: Eric: chant / Pascal: guitar / Paul: guitare / Manga: drums / Vinz: bass.
Hopefully, I'm not the only one to see the irony in a Canadian band singing in French and a band from France singing in English on this tasty 10-track split album. Then again, maybe it's not such a big irony. French is the dominant language in Quebec (from whence Les Viperes hail) and English is the tongue Holy Curse sing in all the time. Bottom line is that English is the primary language of rock, but both bands could be singing in Swahili and I'd lap this up.
As much as I'd be up to hear a full complement of new songs by either band, the Les Viperes-Holy Curse pairing for this disc is an inspired one. I'm guessing the decision to do a split album grew out of the run of French shows the bands did together a couple of years ago (one of which is reviewed by Barfly Greg "Birdman" Bowen here.) Both bands are an interesting contrast: Les Viperes travel a lot closer to traditional punk/thrash territory, while the Curse have their roots firmly planted in Aussie Detroit soil.
Having said that, they both rock extremely hard. Case in point: "Ma Solitude Et Moi" by Les Viperes rocks away on the back of a swinging backbeat and fearsome buzzsaw guitar. My lack of a grasp of all but rudimentary French makes the lyrics of "Terroriste" unintelligible but the band spits them out like they're on the wrong end of a gun held by some fuckhead in a balaclava. If the name of the split-album is a crib from the X song "Revolution", Les Viperes reach Lucas-like extremities in the vocals on "Blood Airport". Intense.
Tony Slug (ex of the Nitwitz and Lovelsug and currently of the wonderful Hydromatics) reckons Holy Curse is the only real rock band left in France. That may be a slight exaggeration (with the emphasis on "slight") but the five songs here do nothing to destroy that assertion. "Streets of Sleep" fits the mould of this band so well: A driving engine room and gut bucket guitars that fall away to a New Christs-like piece of prose over the outro. The re-worked version of "Too Much Paranoia" crawls along at reduced pace without going too many places its predecessor didn't, while the down but catchy "I Don't Dance" is positively pop dressed in lashings of guitar.
"Night of Sin" gives vocalist Eric a chance to emote as only a Frenchman can against the background of some musclebound guitar interplay by Pascal and new recruit Paul. Truly great cover of the Pink Fairies' "City Kids" too. The Barman i-94 Bar