Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're almost finishing our 90s french emotional hardcore punk special post. For this entry, we'll feature Alcatraz, What's Wrong, Carther Matha, Rachel, Symptom Of Isaac and L'Invention De Morel. Let's begin.
Alcatraz - Ni Dieu Ni Maître, À Bas La Calotte Et Vive La Sociale! Discography disc
Just before Peu Être's dissolution in 1998, some ex-members formed Alcatraz. This short-lived project existed between 1997 and 2000. During their lifespan, they released: self-titled 7" EP (1997, Opale/Le Brun Le Roux Corporation), Ni Dieu Ni Maître, À Bas La Calotte Et Vive La Sociale! (1999, Opale/Le Brun Le Roux Corporation), split with Tempo Zero (1998, Opale/Le Brun Le Roux Corporation) and contributed tracks to different compilations, including the legendary Reconstruction: 1997 Hardcore (1997, Boislève).
Regarding the sound, Alcatraz played fast-paced hardcore punk with a complex musical structure like other french emo-related outfits such as Anomie and Peu Être. They also had female back vocals just like the early works of Ananda, but there were a few songs where only the magic of their female vocalist fully sparked. And, as you may expect, the lyrics were in french with very social and political sensibilities. Just read the title of this record (Neither gods nor masters, down with the clergy and long live the social) and you'll get the idea what the band sang of.
Finally, Stonehenge Records released in 2000 this record containing everything that Alcatraz ever recorded. It's one of the few complete discography discs of this kind of bands. We'd wish more compilations like this one. Click on the image for downloading this record. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
What's Wrong - self-titled
This is the posthumous album of this enigmatic short-lived Epinal-based hardcore band. Many people have mistakenly labeled it as their discography disc. This is false because the split tracks with fellow french band Unlogistic and Viokasamotiva demo tracks are missing. I'm not really sure but the featured songs were previously unreleased and recorded just before the band's dissolution. On the other hand, Emergence Records, a french label, released it in 2003 and it's the perfect epitaph of this now defunct outfit. Some of their members are actually in many modern hardcore projects such as Rotten Tofu Adventures, Le Temps Des Mobylettes, Enregistré Par Steve Albini, Geraniüm or Amer Béton.
Regarding the sound, What's Wrong in their early works had more old-school hardcore influences but later adopted more emo sensibilities. Like many of their french homologues, What's Wrong had a pretty passionate and powerful hardcore sound but with more dissonant and frantic moments than slow-paced interludes. The lyrics were in french (with some english exceptions) and politically-charged and deeply personal stances. And, there's also a cover to Coexist's (a local hardcore punk band) song Lalaïlou.
Finally, click on the image for getting this record. It's pretty cool and it's almost been forgotten in the sands of the time. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Carther Matha - Demo and split with Hebb
Carther Matha was a short-lived hardcore outfit that existed betwwen 1995 and 1998. They only released a demo (1995), splits with fellow french emo bands Hebb (199x, ????. Featuring once again the demo tracks) and Rachel and Peu Être (1997, Le Brun Le Roux Corporation). After the band's dissolution, some of the ex-members joined local powerviolence kings Öpstand and others formed brand new acts such as Amanda Woodward, one of the responsibles of the screamo revival movement in the 00s.
Regarding the sound, Carther Matha played fast-paced, "screamy" and direct hardcore punk with some slow interludes and politically-charged lyrics in french. The musical structure and instrumentation is top-notch, which is a little bit far away from Finger Print and Co. formula but the same sentiment is present. You can imagine a more rudimentary version of Amanda Woodward or even as their blueprint.
Finally, click on the image for getting the demo and the whole split with Hebb. The latter is pretty cool because Hebb had similar sound to Carther Matha's and they prefectly complement each other. Also, Carther Matha makes a superb re-interpretation of one of Hebb's tracks. And, don't forget to view the last entry where you can download the full split with Rachel and Peu Être. Note that these split tracks are Carther Matha's only studio recordings. A little bit more polished than the demo tracks (some of them are re-recorded here, actually) but they're still heart-ripping and touching. Highly recommended. Enoy!
Rachel - Demo, ...Last Songs 7" and Lost Songs demo tape sessions
Rachel was also a short-lived emo outfit that shared some members with Alcatraz and Carther Matha. It existed between 1996 and 1998 and they only released two demos (one in 1995 and another in 1997 named Lost Songs. The latter featured some tracks from the first demo and other brand new tracks) and a split with Carther Matha and Peu Être (1997, Le Brun Le Roux Corporation). In 2001, Stonehenge Records along with Rice Control Records released ...Last Songs 7" featuring the first 4 songs of the second demo with remastered sound.
Regarding the sound, Rachel played fast-paced yet complex hardcore punk with screamed vocals and slow interludes. Just like Carther Matha, Rachel didn't follow Finger Print and Co. formula strictly but also created an involving atmosphere of both chaos and introspection. Many screamo revival bands such as Amanda Woodward (France), Envy (Japan) and Louise Cyphre (Germany) draw influences from Rachel's sound.
Finally, click on the image for downloading both demos and ...Last Songs 7". One of the most impressive and forgotten french emotional hardcore outfits in the 90s. And, remember to visit the last entry where you can download the full split with Carther Matha and Peu Être. Don't miss out the opportunity of having this amazing hardcore jewel. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Symptom Of Isaac - self-titled, live split with Ananda and live performance in Poitiers
Symptom of Isaac was a short-lived outfit from Châtelaillon-Plage that only released a self-titled 7" (1994, Laissez-nous jouer Records) and a live split with Ananda (1994, Not on label). Particulary the self-titled caught my attention for different reasons. Firstly, it's the first time I see on the front cover the lyrics of the songs. Secondly, both sides of the record have different speeds. The Side A must be played at 45 rpm whilst the Side B must be played at 33 rpm. None of the almost infinite vinyl records I've ever known in my life have this feature. It could exist one with this characteristic but I don't know it yet. And, last but not least, like Finger Print and Undone, Symptom Of Isaac exclusively sang in english.
Regarding the sound, Symptom of Isaac played emo in the same vein as not well-known american outfits such as Sarin, Plunger and Moonraker. Unlike Finger Print and Co., this band's sound wasn't as frantic and chaotic as many of you could wish but it had a particular and involving sound that shouldn't be missed out. Also, the lyrics were more personal than political with abstract and complex statements.
Finally, click on the image for downloading this amazing 7" along with the live split with Ananda and a live performance in Poitiers, France as a bonus. About this live performance, our anonymous collaborator (yup, s/he did it again) gave us this precious gift, but I completely ignore the venue and the year. The only thing we know is the city. Nothing else. And, don't forget to get the live split because it contains Ananda's Fragile Réalité and Ma Vérité tracks, absent in their debut album Masqué. The audio quality is pretty neat. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
L'Invention De Morel - 1996 Demo and Les Jeunes Années EP
We finish this fourth part with this superb short-lived Paris-based hardcore punk band. They existed between 1995 and 1997 and only released one demo in 1996. Next year, an american record label named Unfortunate For The Fortunate Records released Les Jeunes Années EP when the band was already disolved. This record contains four songs taken from the 1996 demo with remastered sound. There's one song named Tangente that remained exclusive to the original 1996 demo, because, for some strange reason, is absent in this remastered release.
Regarding the sound, L'Invention De Morel emulated the sound of different early american 90s emocore bands such as Hoover and Moss Icon but with the intriguing 90s french emo touch. Thus, the music was fast, precise and intense with slow-paced and instrumental interludes and deep, abstract and personal lyrics in french. However, in these lyrics we see profound political sensibilities craving freedom and autonomy.
Lastly, click on the image for downloading everything that this cryptic yet outstanding french emo band ever recorded. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!