By Damian Fanelli
Quebec-based indie rockers Les Trois Accords haven't toned down their bizarre sense of humor — or their knack for improving from album to album — on their fourth studio release, J'aime ta grand-mère (Translation: "I love your grandmother").
The album, which was recorded entirely in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F at the helm, and released October 23, represents the next step in the Drummondville, Quebec, band's evolution from jumpy pop-punk to meticulously crafted — at times, beautiful — melodic rock.
The album's 10 tracks are written and sung by guitarist Simon Proulx, who cast his line into deep, festering waters and reeled in winner after winner.
The album's powerful first single, "Bamboula," recalls the best of classic '80s New Wave (Or is that the Pixies?); the opener, "Personne préférée," is a shimmering nod to '60s and early '70s AM radio. "Son visage était parfait" recalls the gentler moments of With The Beatles. The vintage vibe of the compositions is compounded by the band's use of ancient gear (including really, really old guitar strings, confirms lead guitarist Alexandre Parr).
The album's highlight is the garage-rocking "Exercice," which melds a powerful, dramatic chord progression with lyrics about envying fat kids who don't have to exercise. A close runner-up is the title track, literally a love song to seniors. Speaking of which, the album also features an engaging guest appearance by Quebec country music icon Renée Martel ("Sur le bord du lac") — and a whole lot of odd, creative lyrics, all of which are sung in French.
Download a free French-to-English translation app — and this album, of course (It's available on iTunes US) — and enjoy some of the best music coming out of Quebec's dynamic and growing rock scene. Not that you need to understand the lyrics to appreciate these songs. If the Am-to-F-to-C-to-E7 progression in "Exercice" doesn't grab you, have someone check your pulse.