Le Charmant Rouge - Post No Bill

8 songs
43:24 minutes
***** ***
Karate Joe


Le Charmant Rouge consists mostly of the people behind the Austrian record label Karate Joe. And what better way could there be to release your music than all by yourself? Not that LCR's music were so bad that no outside company could be found to promote it, but I guess when you have a vision, you don't want other people getting too involved.

I was first introduced to LCR with their EP Rosi Labouche, which is a charming take at German sounding synth kraut music, with male and female vocals, all very mellow, and in a modern sounding production, much closer to Air than to Kraftwerk. While the EP was all nice and sweet, their new album Post No Bill goes in a different direction, with the single release being the only vocal track. The opener Dirty Minutes And Seconds Of Joy, one of the album's highlights, is a masterpiece of elaborated post-rock, owing more to the intelligent structures of latter day Tortoise than to the self-indulging sprawls of the Canadian school. With a running time of under five minutes, with layers of violins and a decent brass section, you get a perfectly concise take at what modern post rock is supposed to sound like. In fact, LCR are always at their best when they sound organic, the only longer track There Is In My Nervous System not being able to get me totally involved. Famed And Favoured again surprises, this time with a soulful brass section and hard rocking guitars.

LCR love to experiment with different sounds, which doesn't make Post No Bill a too cohesive album, and at their worst, they are just a good band which you should love listening to. But at their best, they are absolutely brilliant, glancing at the genius of a Brian Wilson or at the faux-surf sounds of High Llamas. So this may not be music for the masses, but if you prefer your post rock in smaller pieces and grow easily tired of GYBE's 20 minutes epics, than Le Charmant Rouge from Vienna may just be your cure.

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