Album Review

Fall of Saigon – “Untitled EP” – [Dark Entries]

Thurston Hunger   3/10/2013   12-inch, A Library

Yow, my second favorite (so far) Dark Entries entree!
When I blindly put this on and closed my eyes, a younger
less-married version of myself sprung to life and fell
head over ears in love with Florence Berthon. Her voice
has sultry shadows, kind of that Nico huskiness but
pillowy soft. She sounds the way cigarette smoke looks
in black and white films. The lead off track, “Visions”
has this kind of western gallop, thin ropey guitar with
synth chords vamping and the flattest bongos ever. The
next song, “Blue Eyes” retains a similar pace, and those
hipster cardboard bongos and Florence smoke-singing over
circling circus keyboards and suddenly a cutesy POING strikes
like someone winning a tiny carnival strength-meter, or a
toy piano. Ah-ha, reading afterwards I find out this is an
early (1983) Pascal Comelade project. Definitely check him
out if you’ve never, he introduced me to the pure joy of
Art Bruit sounds. His composition here is super catchy,
and boutique sweet. The lyrics may be sour, but that
just adds to the savor. Two of the tracks are sung by
guitarist Thierry Den, and his disaffected vocals likely
will slur demurely into aging coquettes’ ears. He sings
on “She Leaves Me All Alone” and “On the Beach at
Fontana,” the latter overlapping himself on the most
insistent song of the album, despite a sleep-walking
icehouse drum machine. The closer, “The Swimmer” flirts
with a bathtub coma, while Comelade’s synths spiral around
the drain. Totally enchanting, with great moments of
perky despondency, or is it despondent perkiness?

-Thurston Hunger

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