Guillaume Teyssier is French but in 12 of the 14 tracks on this debut album he sings in English, adopting a grotty, rock-swamp American sneer, an affectation of donkey-headed frontman arrogance. Most of the time he sounds as if he’s been listening to ‘80s alternative rock; his songs are scuzzy but they stop short of grunge. They don’t have that beaten-down feel. “Off White” bumps and grinds. “Chateau Rouge” is abrasive electro glam. “Kicks of Sand” is jagged. “La Tour De Nesles”, by way of a contrast, is all murmured voice and guitar. (The press kit compares it to the work of Serge Gainsborough, possibly guessing that this is the only male French singer of whom we’ve all heard.) Chateau Rouge has the kind of underground attitude that leaves an album vibrating with its own buzzy kick, but here the buzz never consolidates itself in a climax. It struts, pouts, flirts, thrusts, fades, ends. Good fun while it lasts.
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