Everything about Les Bof! is a surprise and real pleasure; great rewards found in our introduction to them courtesy of the guys at the ever welcome Dirty Water Records. The reason for it all is new album, Voila!; a collection of songs which got under the skin like a mischievously voracious itch.
Les Bof! revels in the heart of French 60s garage rock but a band hailing from the rousing highlands of Scotland. Featuring members of The Thanes, The No-Things, The Sensation Seekers, and Preston Pfanz & the Seaton Sands, the quartet consists of guitarist Angus McPake, bassist Colin Morris, drummer Ross Fairbairn, and French chanteur Laurent Monbel. 2011 saw the release of debut album, Nous Sommes les Bof!, something easy to feel we really missed out on such the addictive and rousing exploits now of Voila! and its fourteen enthralling romps.
From the moment opener Jezebel melodically rumbled into view it is fair to say we were hooked, especially once it set down its swinging gait and nagging stroll. Monbel’s vocals as swiftly enticed even though in a language we have never had a handle on, his tempting more than matched by guitar and rhythmic enterprise. There is a whiff of Mano Negra to the track’s garage rock revelry, a favouring which repeats enjoyably across the album from time to time.
With its drama and captivation increasing by the chord, the song makes way for the just as alluring Fin De Monde, a song with definite Stones-esque flaming to its hooks and energy. Rock ‘n’ roll of the most magnetic order it is still soon eclipsed by the thrilling Vie De Chien. Already in three songs Les Bof! have proven adept at the most merciless of hooks and melodic devilry, the third song casting its own irresistible types led by the delicious groove of the bass wrapped in the spidery snare of guitar; alone one of the most seductive moments of the album.
The sing-a-long canter of Ma Claque just commands participation next up while Je Suis Le Boss owns ears with its sepia shaded sixties shuffle blessed with the intoxicating jangle of keys and the harmonic flaming of Monbel; another great pair which is still outshone by another as Drogue ‘N’ Roll swaggers in with unapologetically flirtatious grooves leading devilish power pop tainted moves and garage pop sprung temptation.
The surf seduction of Souviens Toi nestles perfectly in the arms of the song’s intimate chanson to simply bewitch with Un Deux Trois Quatre bringing the body back to full involvement with its eager animation and virulent quiver; physical excitement further escalated by the rawer but no less melodically enticing rock ‘n’ roll of Soixante-Huitard.
As Liberes Moi with its fiery sixties breath inflames and the similarly era nurtured prowl of C’est La Vie taunts, Voila! only enriched its fascination, grip, and variety of sound with La Fievre Du R’n’R adding to all with its garage rock fever and inescapable holler.
The album goes out as masterfully as it came in; Port St Louis teasing and transfixing with its smouldering instrumental writhing with threads of sonic fire before Formidable provides arguably the most addictive moment of the album with its niggling hooks and flirtation loaded swing. It is a glorious end to quite simply one of the real pleasures of the year so far so as Les Bof! declares…Voila!
Voila! is out now via Dirty Water Records: available @ https://lesbof.bandcamp.com/album/voila
Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019
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