Feu Therese Feu Therese

[Constellation; 2006]

Styles: post-rock, experimental
Others: Fly Pan Am, Mogwai, Can

Born of the same Montreal scene that has brought the world Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Do Make Say Think, and Fly Pan Am, Feu Therese bring the 'rock' half of the "post-rock" equation into sharper focus. Hearkening back to beat-driven krautrockers like Can and Neu!, when these guys lock in and unleash the results can be unexpectedly funky. Drummer Luc Paradis and bassist Alexandre St-Onge are a formidable rhythm section that seems to revel in the moments where sputters and murmurs give way to forward-moving rock grooves. This happens repeatedly over the course of the album, but nowhere more blatantly than on the opening track, "Ferrari en Feu." True to their experimental ideals, the first three-and-a-half minutes are a curious mélange of synth crescendo, evoking a schizophrenic version of the THX audio logo "Deep Note." Following that auspicious introduction, Paradis and St-Onge settle into a lovely beat while guitarist John Parant (also of FPA) and multi-instrumentalist Stephen De Oliveira skronk away blissfully. The result is an album both challenging and incredibly listenable, suggesting that, for some at least, there can be a happy medium between pushing boundaries and pleasing listeners. With many of the Montreal scene's biggest acts (including FPA) officially on hiatus or unofficially dormant, it seems Feu Therese may be the de facto torchbearers at the moment. In their able hands, I'm excited to see what might take root next.

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