Canadian trio Les Poules existed at a point where ambitious oppositional rock churned up in the wake of Henry Cow converged with the lawless new wave energies of groups like The Raincoats and lUecoex. Les contes de l’amère loi (Ambiances Magnétiques), recorded in 1986, is a concept album of sorts, addressing relationships between human emotions and technology, but there’s nothing grandiose or inflated about it. Joane Hétu, Diane Labrosse and highly effective drummer Danielle Palardy Roger all play synthesizers and manage to make them gutsy and urgent. All three sing too, carefully stylised and dramatic. Added pungency comes from Hetu’s alto playing, at times reminiscent of the feisty approximations of Lora Logic. The Iyrics are vivid and witty. It’s an album that always impressed, in much the way Cassiber’s reconds have done, and arguably it sounds stronger now than when it first appeared.