There are times when an increase in depravity directly correlates to an intensification of pleasure. One could categorize the phenomenon as an intoxicating mystery of human existence (which should be indulged), or as symptomatic of the general debasement predicated upon original sin (and, therefore, to be avoided). I fall in with the former group and imagine that most people with any interest in Les Georges Leningrad join me in doing so.
Sangue Puro is the Montreal “Petrochemical Rock” trio’s third album, and according to the blurb on the back of the promo case, “The sepulchral vibes and juvenile fury emanating from the guitar and keyboards will make you dance for yourself in front of the mirror.” I have not yet listened to this record in a room with a mirror and cannot confirm or deny the validity of this statement in its entirety. However, I affirm that I was infected with its sepulchral vibes from time to time and fully advocate any dancing before a mirror which takes place while infected with such vibes. Needless to say, it is no guilty pleasure; rather it is one to be flaunted, like dancing in a cemetery or smoking cigarettes in the morgue with your mother’s corpse.
Anyway, I am sticking with the whole depravity enhances pleasure theorem. Because, basically, there is something naughty and loud and psychotic about the best songs on Sangue Puro which makes me tolerant of the more ludicrous and tedious stuff. “Skulls in the Closet” is your best bet for mirror dancing. The sound is suggestive of metallic organisms coupling in primeval muck. Poney P howls things like “car crash” and “heart attack” while the band creates the atmosphere of an art punk, sci-fi horror flick.
“Scissorhands” twitches in a similar vein, though with more defined characters—the eponymous anti-hero and the ill-fated Paperhands. It is a prime example of Les Georges Leningrad’s peculiar approach to rhythm, allegedly inspired by the Sambo, a Russian self-defense technique invented sometime in the 1930’s. I would define the result as firm, though spasmodic. Exemplary, is “Sleek Answer,” which plods and grooves as Poney P rants and rants, maniacally jejune and observant. “Mange Avec Tes Doigts” buzzes pleasantly with filthy rancor and circus surf-guitar, but beyond its final manic crescendo the album sinks into a trembling cake of sonic gelatin. It’s not quite my thing, but if you are in need of more bestial slag than the album’s better tracks offer, it may be just what you are looking for.