Album #115: The Young Gods – L’Eau Rouge

  • Released: 1989
  • Origin: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Label: PIAS
  • Best Track: L’Amourir

I own this album on vinyl but, for shame, have never listened to it properly. My turntable is wonky at the moment and is playing everything at the wrong speed, so the digital version will have to do.

I was reminded of it when listening to a new EP from the little-known French post-punk band Des Âmes Libres. The low-register French language vocals alone immediately made me think of these Swiss industrial rockers.

The Young Gods’ second album, L’Eau Rouge, somehow even sounds red. Aside from the title and album cover, the music is raw, blistering and furious, without being particularly fast paced. The industrial drumming and growled vocals in a language I don’t understand give it a feeling of the underworld – satanic, but not in a cheesy, souped-up way like certain metal bands.

What takes me by surprise on this album though is that in parts, it’s quintessentially French. ‘La Fille de la Mort’ and ‘Charlotte’, in an unlikely twist to what I expected, feature an accordion. Another surprise is that some of the eeriest tracks are the quieter and more subdued tracks, like ‘Les Enfants’

‘L’Amourir’ was what made me buy this album in the first place though. Being a bit nerdy about time signatures, I always cite this song as a clear example of 7/4. The drumming is very simple, with the omission of the eighth beat the only notable thing about it. It’s a brilliant song, and the more uptempo ‘Pas Mal’ is great, if abrupt, closer.

Like this album a lot, and must hear more from the band.

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