Aussitot Mort
Montuenga


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
October 30th, 2008 | 65 replies | 15,369 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Parlez-vous la langue du skramz français? Aussitôt Mort parles avec originalité et les pédales de retard.

Aussitot Mort - Montuenga

As evidenced by the popular split LP put out by the people's champions of French emo, Daitro and Sed Non Satiata, earlier this year, the European emo sound is both at an all-time high and an all-time low. These bands are crafting amazing songs with a distinctive style, but are doing very little to branch out past their sweet spot of groove-focused, post-rock inspired hardcore. European emo, and in particular, French emo, has gotten to the point of being too much of a good thing. Enter Aussitot Mort, a French emo band from Caen, who's more diverse style makes them a perfect stepping stone for expanding the niche sound of the region. They flew under the radar with their 2007 debut release with Level Plane, 6 Songs, but are poised to make a splash at the end of 2008 with their impressive second album Montuenga, which takes everything that characterizes the French emo sound and extends its horizons to include a wide range of genres and songwriting tactics.

To not hear French emo in Aussitot Mort's dense style is impossible. The heavier than thou opening of the album with the song "Mort Mort Mort" recalls the immediate introduction to Daitro's landmark album, Laisser Vivre Les Squelletes, which also begins on power chords and thudding drums. However, with all that's familiar, Aussitot Mort avoids contrasts from the sweet post-hardcore guitar melodies that one may expect, and continues crushing away with an introductory first minute that is essentially stoner metal with shades of post-metal. From there, the song launches into moments of interweaving guitar that rely heavily on delay effects, midtempo interludes that employ violin countermelodies, and even straight up metal riffing. In just their first 3 minutes, Aussitot Mort have crafted a song that both embraces and defies the genre's established paradigms in an accessible and exciting way.

The rest of the album fulfills the initial promise of Montuenga in a variety of ways. Beyond appending different genres and sounds to French emo's predictable core, Aussitot Mort are still in the business of writing emotionally riveting hardcore. A song like "Une Heure Plus Tard" abandons delicate guitar-work to end on a heavy and crushing climax. "Le Kid de la Plage" builds from quiet to loud, ending on an equally cathartic crescendo that fades out into static and noise by the end of the track. It sounds as if Aussitot Mort have retained just enough of emo's concern with emotional payoffs to keep that vestigial aesthetic in tact for the sake of making the tracks immediate and memorable, while leaving enough room to experiment.

Experimentation takes a range of forms on Montuenga. The most obvious comes from the use of non-hardcore instrumentation. No this isn't Fucked Up tossing in an incongruous flute melody at the opening of a song, but instead, violin is seamlessly worked into "Mort Mort Mort" or the opening of "Le Kid de la Plage" is adorned with vibraphones that nicely accompany the acoustic guitar arpeggiation. The most impressive deviations aren't in the exoticism of the instruments but rather in the innovations to guitar playing, both in the way the guitars intermingle with one another and in the way Aussitot Mort use delay and other effects. The guitar parts are really fresh on this album and most of the guitar leads are non-repeating throughout the course of the song, meaning they always come out of no where and are constantly revolving the song's energy and intensity in new, exciting directions. The ascending melody on "Une Heure Plus Tard" at 0:20 is a perfect example. The song begins on stop-start opening that invokes Daitro to a T, but then the echoed lead guitar and sidewinding accompanying riff carry the song off into an uplifting and uptempo territory that turns the introductory passage on its head. Also, the use of effects deserves some attention as well. The mix on Montuenga is heavy, but is by no means cluttered. Every instrument has its own sonic space, which means that the delay and reverb on the guitars creates little echoes and contrapuntal movements that fill in the spaciousness left in the mix. The result is gorgeous and fulfilling, and is at its best when the guitars are playing some kind of trill that sends little waves of fluttering notes out across the pan, completing the sense of saturation in the production.

This guitar work is wonderful and the alloy of influences is pretty original, but don't take the bait on this one 100%; Montuenga is not some revolutionary tour de force. It's still a genre album, but it does an applaudable job of stepping outside its comfort zone. Aussitot Mort have taken steps in the right direction, but there is still quite a bit of territory left to explore before the French scene will yield an album with the ambition, originality, and precision of an As the Roots Undo or The Moon Is a Dead World.



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user ratings (72)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
October 30th 2008



14504 Comments


Good review, I really liked the summary. Want this.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
October 30th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haven't taken a French class in just under 6 years so I'm sort of stretching it.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008



15693 Comments


I get most of it but i forget what pedales isThis Message Edited On 10.30.08

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

NortherlyNanook
October 30th 2008



1285 Comments


Oh, sick. I just listened to this for the first time today, and I really like it. Nice review.

Anodyne
October 30th 2008



85 Comments


I get most of it but i forget what pedales is


mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008



17912 Comments


Do you speak the language of skramz French? Dead immediately speak with originality and pedals behind.


google never lies

soundless
October 30th 2008



171 Comments


fuck i only have 6 of the songs from this. need to get other two pronto

rasputin
October 30th 2008



14504 Comments


I really like how 'full' this sounds.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 30th 2008



3743 Comments


im not going to get this

Crimson
October 30th 2008



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm so going to get this

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 30th 2008



3743 Comments


dont fall for the trap crimson

rasputin
October 30th 2008



14504 Comments


Too bad for you the album is actually pretty good.

natey
October 30th 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good album. Ok review.

lunchforthesky
October 30th 2008



1039 Comments


I'm pretty jaded with scramz in general so I'll probably pass on this. Nice review though as always.

808
October 30th 2008



2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked it but I prefer the sound they had back when they were a five piece.

Zippermouth
October 31st 2008



1305 Comments


Well Ras liked it, so I think I'll give it a shot...

Zippermouth
October 31st 2008



1305 Comments


where am I supposed to find this band?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
October 31st 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zippermouth a blog post will appear shortly. Britney, the powers of relaying will give you your answer.

rasputin
October 31st 2008



14504 Comments


I really like 'Mort Mort Mort'.

jrowa001
October 31st 2008



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool, more French screamo. ill be checking this out. the bands that ive been digging from France are Le Pré Où Je Suis Mort and CelesteThis Message Edited On 10.31.08



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