Of course everyone has spent a moment to wonder what a merger between Joy Division, The Pixies, and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster would sound like right? But ponder no longer as UK band Bête Noire brings you the answer with their debut release Shut Your Mouth. Unveiling much more than that trio of essences suggests, the two track single is a thrilling and potent introduction to a band which is almost as new itself as the release is to the world.
Hailing from London and consisting of vocalist David M Hargreaves, guitarists Danny Defalco and Billy Bloom, bassist Andrew G, and drummer James Whitfield, Bête Noire has been existence for around six months though listening to the songs you hear a maturity which leads one to believe their musical exploits could stretch back further. Taking influences from the likes of Chameleons, Magazine, Pixies, Stereo Lab, and Serge Gainsbourg, the quintet create a post punk stemmed sound soaked in dark shadows and chilled ambience but equally littered with hooks and deceptive melodies which only captivate in their worst moments and seduce at their heights. The single is a stirring marker for the band which though you could suggest right now their sound lacks a little originality you feel time and evolution will solve that minor ‘issue’.
Shut Your Mouth is the lead track and needs only the brief moment that it takes for the opening beats to be joined by the wonderful snarl bitten bass to secure full attention and draw a lick across the lips of the passions. As the steely jangle of the guitars coax in the excellent expressive vocals of Hargreaves the Joy Division vibe is instantaneous but only a strong flavour in a vibrant mix. Whilst the song wraps its cold engaging charms around the senses with flushes of warmth contradicting and elevating the core of the song through the hooks and sonic caresses, there is a feel of early Devoto led Buzzcocks peeping through and a noise rock shimmer bringing remote comparisons to bands like The Gaa Gaas and Engerica. It is an outstanding brew that issues distrust and persuasion with open hands whilst rising the temperature of the psyche and hunger into a greedy recipient.
Its companion Out and Proud is a similarly bred song but with more restraint in its deliberate prowl of the ear, the guitars crafting a sonic narrative to spark upon ear and thoughts whilst the bass kindly stalks their colour within a firm rhythmic frame. Once more the vocals tantalise with the great expressive delivery of Hargreaves coated in a hollow effect and pointing to Ian Curtis in likeness. With the bass offering throatier bait as the song progresses and the chorus providing the road to addictiveness, the song is like its predecessor a potently appealing and compelling encounter.
The single simply impresses from start to finish. It flows with such promise and enterprise that expectations of major things ahead from Bête Noire are already flourishing. Possibly it is too early to make such assumptions but as Shut Your Mouth holds the ear in its creative palms again, there is no betting against it.
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