Is there a more French sounding album than Voila by Les BOF! If there is, I haven't seen it. And yet, this band are Scottish?? I have never felt so betrayed. 60s influenced garage rock with a good ear for melody from these liars. Inexplicably it all works very, very well. Les BOF!'s energy is utterly compelling.
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Bit of an odd juxtaposition here, it's a record called 'Voila' by a band called Les Bof who are from Scotland. This record sounds Gallic as well, with French-language vocals and song-titles. There are obvious comparisons to make to classic bands like the Sonics, the Music Machine, or anyone appearing on 'Nuggets'.
Now, although this album is a completely hackneyed version of something written and recorded about two hundred thousand (200,000!!!) times in the 60s by bands in turtlenecks and winklepickers, there's something about it that's so bold and funny. Everything from the aesthetic (font, photos, layout) to the song titles ('Jezebel', 'Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre') to the sound is so clearly ripped off that it stops being merely hackneyed and starts being properly post-modern. The record collapses in on itself with the weight of history that its bearing. I've been trying to think of anything, anything that this album does that's new and I don't think there is, and strangely that in of itself is quite daring.
I'm sure that this is all completely intentional, but even if it isn't I love how brazen it all is. There's no sly stealing of obscure riffs or taking gentle liberties with some old band whose copyright has just run out, it's all completely out in the open and that's why I love it. Les Bof are less magpies and more identity thieves. They've made an entirely new sounding record, one that's pastiche, post-modern, brash, bold and irreverent. 'Voila' is a dissection and interrogation of ideas of ownership and authorship. In fact, this is less the Barbarians, more Roland Barthes, less Count Five, more Michel Foucault. Oui oui!
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- Voila! by Les BOF!
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