Cyril Cyril 2024
Photo: Mehdi Benkler / Ballantyne Communications

Desperate Times Call for Poetic Protest From Cyril Cyril

Cyril Cyril’s Le Futur Ça Marche Pas is for agitators, a genre-be-damned assemblage of poetry and vivid effects in the form of well-produced electronic rock.

Le Futur Ça Marche Pas
Cyril Cyril
Bongo Joe
28 April 2024

Bongo Joe founder and former Mama Rosin banjoist Cyril Yeterian and Insub.records co-founder and versatile percussionist Cyril Bondi have an uncommon number of commonalities, sharing a first name, a hometown of Geneva, label-running duties, and cosmopolitan musical tastes. As duo Cyril Cyril, they put their synchronicities to good use in the service of music and anti-establishment social commentary. The new album, Le Futur Ça Marche Pas, is their third. They enlist fellow artists affiliated with Yeterian’s globetrotting Bongo Joe label as they innovate their way toward an indie rock revolution with all creative hands on deck.

Cyril Cyril hold nothing back lyrically. Opening track “Le Mensonge” (translating to “the lie”) features a melancholy litany of complaints about the world’s unsavory qualities–it is, the Cyrils sing, spoiled, stingy, cowardly, violent, poisonous, and many other things–amid despondent verses on late capitalism and a worldwide proliferation of misinformation. It’s the first of many overt protests against the disasters of the status quo, with later tracks decrying lack of climate action, overuse and abuses of artificial intelligence, and all the other human-made and -aggravated crises leading the Cyrils to the dismal conclusion that, per the title, the future we’re moving toward as a species does not work.

One of the lines in “Plus Rien À Faire” is even less subtle: “Unabomber, Unabomber, Unabomber, Una-, Una-, Unabomber”, say the Cyrils in eerie unison. It’s not an endorsement, necessarily, but in the context of their frustrations with what they portray as the world’s protracted descent into hell, it’s a clear warning that Cyril Cyril sense times getting desperate.

What keeps it all from getting overwhelming, as with so much protest music, is how interesting it sounds. Yeterian and Bondi are as proficient at experimentation as they are at their respective instruments. Joining them are members of Blanco Teta, Meridian Brothers, Amami, and Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, all stellar avant-garde groups in their own rights. Add in synths and organs and the Cyrils’ extant investments in music from West Asia and North Africa (both play in Yalla Miku), and it makes for a full post-rock, post-national sonic palette.

The kicky bass and urgent beats of “La Rotation de L’Axe” offer a foundation of pure post-punk that makes for a poignant combination with the somber synths and vocals layered atop it as one highlight. Later, on “La Grisaille”, a poetic couplet in Lebanese Arabic cuts wistfully through spoken-word verses of personal anguish and across complex rhythms. So it goes, twisting and turning constantly until “Sweetzerland Bunker Love” brings it all to a head with raps, chants, and pounding guitars and percussion.

Le Futur Ça Marche Pas is for agitators, a genre-be-damned assemblage of poetry and vivid effects that just happens to be in the form of well-produced electronic rock in a broad sense. More than music, the namesakes of Cyril Cyril are here to make statements. They do it well. Thankfully for listeners, they also know how to drop a stunningly relentless set of beats and basslines.

RATING 8 / 10