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Album Review: Housse de Racket – Alesia

The latest act to be signed by French mashion (a portmanteau of “fashion” and “music”) label, Housse de Racket, release their second album “Alesia” on August 22nd.

The duo, who started out as session musicians for the likes of Phoenix and Air, are now touring the world playing sell out shows to hundreds of fans. Touring intensively throughout France has led to plenty of cultural influence on the record, with song titles relating to French history (Alesia and Chateau) and the French outlook on relationships (Les Hommes et Les Femmes).  After hooking up with producer and one half of Cassius Philippe Zdar, Pierre Leroux and Victor Le Masne were inspired to go above and beyond their first album, “Forty Love”, and write eleven buoyant tracks which dazzle and impress.

Or at least, the first half does; after that, it slacks a little. Album opener Human Nature is an electro-fuelled pop song, with a catchy beat and a boisterous, climactic chorus. Naturally, you think, “Wow. This is great.” Because it is. Roman, the first single to be taken from the album, is a classic indie-pop song that sounds a bit like Phoenix and yet it doesn’t.

Ariane feels cut short, and exudes a “circus soundtrack” vibe through a repetitive, slightly haunted melody. Hope is restored in the intro of Les Hommes and TGV, but quickly dissipates when you reach the plateauing chorus. Aquarium has a kind of generic, 80s “dance pop” melody that will appeal to some but is otherwise obscure.

Overall, there’s drum-beats guitar-riffs and synths a-plenty, and, although the last few tracks might disappoint, the first five songs are truly amazing that it’s definitely worth buying and listening to. Besides, a band that writes an album of unwavering brilliance throughout is hard to come by nowadays.

-Charlie Clarkson

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