Album review: TRENTE – Aveugle & Sourd

Bad Reputation [Release date 02.04.21]

Bringing new meaning to the saying “Les Trente Glorieuses”, unmistakeably French rock band, Trente, treat us to a reductive fusion of pop and rock, with Aveugle & Sourd (blind and deaf).

Stating the obvious perhaps, but when bands record in their native language, they limit their wider opportunities for recognition and success. Trente compound that handicap by swapping and switching musical styles as we move from one track to the next.

At its roots though, this is pop and rock constructed on clean, simple lines. No leaning on FX or relying on stylistic tropes, which is probably why ‘Libre Comme L’Air’ and ‘Une Toise Et Du Temps’ are so immediately attractive. Both start out acoustic then crank up into electric action, belting out some big, booming chords, giving the tracks an unconventional rock swagger.

‘Aveugle & Sourd’, the track, and ‘Disparu Des Radars’ are probably the closest to what we know as Anglo-American hard rock, with torqued up guitars squeezing out squealing axework behind the shouty vocals. Choosing to go down that route loses the band some of the exotic, storytelling identity created by the compelling ‘Mon Odyssee’ and the “Chanson Francais” feel of ‘Autant’.

On the album’s second half, the jangling cowboy rock of ‘Combien De Ponts’ and ‘Tattoo Burger’s tuneful powerpop confirm the band’s credentials as fully paid up members of the here and now. This is Trente showing us they can replicate the rock and pop norms that surround them, without resorting to counterfeit creations.

Danny (Tyketto) Vaughn gets everywhere. We’ve just heard him on the Flesh & Blood reissue and now he’s contributed a bonus track version of ‘Libre Comme L’Air’ to this album. And he sings en francais, and it’s superb.  ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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