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« VA - New Orleans Funk Vol.4 | Main | VA - David Holmes: Late Night Tales »
Wednesday
Dec072016

VA - Punk 45: Les Punks: The French Connection

"In an effort to set the record straight about the French contribution to '70s punk, Soul Jazz Records has delivered an installment in the PUNK 45 series titled PUNK 45: Les Punks: The French Connection: The First Wave of Punk 1977-80. The album collects 19 tracks from 17 bands that were recording during the first wave of European punk rock, and if this doesn't connect as hard as the typical American or British punk comp from the same period, it does confirm France had a lively scene that left behind some admirably tough and effective sides. 

Les Fantômes and Angel Face confirm the level of Stooges worship in France; Metal Urbain's fusion of distorted guitars and drum machines anticipated Big Black by six years; Guilty Razors suggest a unique fusion of the Heartbreakers and noise rock; Gazoline offer a malignant take on Bowie's Spiders from Mars period; Charles de Goal, Kas Product, and A3 dans le WC confirm there were plenty of angular and arty new wave acts on the scene; and 84 Flesh and the Dogs navigate the border between punk and hard rock. Not everything on this collection sounds stellar in the 21st century, but even the weakest tracks here are smart and muscular rock & roll, and while most first-era punk rock from the U.S. and U.K. has been compiled to death, most of these tracks have been little heard outside their native land, making this relatively fresh listening. Les Punks isn't likely to change the prejudice against French rock, but it's hard evidence that punk rock gave their scene a welcome kick in the butt just as it did all around the world." - All Music

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