Review Summary: 9 minutes with more substance than some bands' full lengths.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine what my mid-high school self would think of me today, my taste in music, specifically. The same kid who was attached to The Strokes and the Red Hot Chili Peppers like a cub clings to its mother is now the guy that finds delight in discovering a virtually unknown little screamo band that just released some killer material. Gone are Anthony Keidis’ clean vocals and say hello to the harsh, emotional yelps of C’est La Guerra. Named after the phrase the French used to cry out “It’s war!”
during World War II, this Rhode Island-based screamo outfit is destined for great things. Yes, I can tell that from merely 9 minutes of music.
Okay, I’ll admit: 9 simple minutes certainly has its limitations, but for what its worth this is one of the more promising debuts I’ve heard all year. The music doesn’t necessarily have some, unique, spellbinding, quality; but instead it’s the atmosphere, the progression, that’s so damn intriguing. The screams aren’t pretty, they’re incredibly raw and harsh on the old ears. See the recently-severed head on the glorious cover? - think about the sounds he would be making if he could wail. The production on Demo
is suited to match this, a bit rough for my tastes, but certainly matches the aesthetic going on in the Demo
. Each song has its own, unique, beautifully crafted melody, which is perhaps C’est La Guerre’s biggest strength. “Beauty of a New World” and “We Are One Flesh” are especially poignant, as it manages to hit you right in the kisser when you’re least expecting it. The melodies lull you into a trance and POW!, there’s the money shot. “Balcony Scene” drudges along at a much slower tempo, and gives a little singing to compliment the harsh vocals. Yet, it’s the powerful screams you want back, and eventually it’s the powerful screams you get back. Perhaps the most appealing quality on this 5-song Demo
is the unpredictability.
definitely has its weak points (i.e. the poor production, the lack of a standout track, and other problems that arise from the “demo” nature), but I haven’t even mentioned the biggest reason for my optimism. C’est La Guerre recorded this demo one week after assembling. This is surely a rookie on the rise, and C’est La Guerre definitely have staying power. While the material on Demo
isn’t particularly amazing in itself as a whole, when you remember it’s simply a Demo
with 5 songs (which is tough to remember, sometimes) it becomes all the more impressive. This 5-song Demo
is an incredible testament not only to the power in this pithy 9 minutes, but more so to the bright future ahead of this blooming band.