La boutique des nouvelles musiques

Review

Michael Draine, e/i magazine, 1 avril 1995

Guitarist André Duchesne has long been Canada’s premier exponent of rock-based new music, having helmed three line-ups of Conventum (1977-82), two generations of Les 4 Guitaristes de l’Apocalypso Bar, and now the guitar (plus drums) trio, Locomotive. Both second guitarist Claude Fredette and Miriodor drummer Remi Leclerc performed on the second 4 Guitaristes LP Fin de siècle, as well as on Duchesne’s large-ensemble concert work “L’Ou’l”, while guitarist/bassist Francis Grandmot is a new name to me. Continuing the tradition of Les 4 Guitaristes, Locomotive abounds with cascading, interlocking melodies, hot splayed leads and abbreviated, jaunty riffs, firmly anchored by Leclerc’s crisp, oblique backbeat. Never content to repeat himself, Duchesne has spiked the brew with an ingredient some might find indigestible: boxcar blues. Duchesne’s blues blanche vocals vary from the merely eccentric to the outright comic, while the juxtaposition of the clipped guitar riff from Archie Bell and the Drells’ Tighten Up against an over-the-top James Brown impersonation on Sex-Duction is clearly calculated for laughs. Fortunately, Duchesne’s freightyard musings disable only a few cuts, leaving room for plenty of the passionate, seemingly effortless fretwork and kinetic interplay that’s the highlight of his every undertaking.

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