Cotillon - Cotillon

by Warwick Stubbs Rating:5 Release Date:2015-01-26

Colour me depressed if you want, but opening track ‘Gloom’ does not sound particularly gloomy. I’m sure if I had the energy, or my state of mind was less dead at this particular point in time, I’d be happy to dance on my own to this.

‘Call Me Up’ gives me a little hope with a bit of backing saxophone to it’s upfront 60s persona. ‘Asteroid’ happily makes me feel moody. I guess the 'not trying to sing and just talking in approximate-pitch vocals' is almost more enjoyable than rapping. It would be, except the majority of rapping I like has credibility, stamina, integrity and subjects worthwhile of throwing words into the listener’s ears for. A fuzz guitar solo rounds this song out quite nicely, like a self-aware and very proud nod towards stoner-rock – if only the lyrics had been a little more inspired.

Strangely, the next song, ‘Before’, picks up on this psychedelia and invokes the (annoyingly absent) spirit of Autolux with vocals reminiscent of Eugene Goreshter. I might be tempted to listen to this song again, if only to pretend that it’s a missing b-side from the trio.

Unfortunately, ‘Yesterday’s Shoes’ took me straight back to depression with a mid-song circus shuffle, when prior to that I almost felt like I belonged: “Woke up hoping to do something in yesterday’s shoes/ Spent the whole day in bed I been so removed/ You crawled in and there’s no telling where you been/ I stayed blind cause I don’t want to think about it.” The slack and sparse kick/floor-tom punctuates the verses with gentle picking from the electric guitar, adding nice distorted power chords to the chorus. Even with the stupid circus rhythm in the second half that pisses me off, it still feels complete, still feels like Cotillon knows what he is doing.

The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan rear their influential heads in the song ‘Holding You Back’. It’s a fantastic change, no doubt about it – some will love the mood, others will hate it – but at least the chorus takes the song into far more interesting territory with gently whispered female vocals punctuated by stabs of chord-hits by the rest of the band and some funky bass underneath.

That’s the first half. I’m pretty much done listening. ‘Left Bank’ is a nice piano ballad in an almost cabaret style bringing back the saxophone.

The rest of this album does nothing for my depression. There’s little originality here, vocals don’t often care about being flat, as though indie pretension was something to aim for. Yet, through all that vapidness, there shines the occasional ray of rock that makes sense and is put together with some effort (‘Convenience’), but then the songs seem to veer off back to being boringly instrusive.

Yet another album on which I can hear the artistry trying to break through but which ultimately leaves little to get excited about. Cotillon is just a big blend of influences, including a punk-rock explosion at the end ‘Infection’. And yet he can’t even keep that on the table, it has to revert to some sort of acoustic interlude. It’s not like that interlude isn’t appropriate - lets say it’s the infection enducing the psychoactive state - but by the time it returns to the rock 'n' roll roots with a solid guitar solo, it’s too little too late.

This entire album is too little too late.

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