Whether you want to call it revival or interpretation, what is going on over in the EU with Azbin Records is a damaged cut of modern rock ‘n’ roll enterprise. Stripped, swallowed and regurgitated all over the stagnating pressures of confidence, acceptance and happiness. A seance to rouse the bludgeoned corpse of garage rock neurosis. Meek, manic, paranoid. French gaunt. Bellowing from the diaphragms of afflicted ESL tunesmiths in some dilapidated chamber of an apartment. Our latest helping of which comes courtesy of Regal in the form of their latest LP: Misery, Redemption & Love.
Last time we heard from Azbin, we were on suicide watch, playing drinking games with Prince Rama–Vernon Sélavy’s “All the Sinners Burn” may or may not have capped your playlist to the Mayan apocalypse. For the newest edition to the Azbin catalog, Xavier Terracol (Azbin founder), Patrice Petrole (Azbin sound engineer) and Colin O’Flaherty–all of which are members of Azbin occult rockers Le Pécheur–return for their second outing as Regal. Retaining the core of Le Pécheur affords some comparisons, but this lineup is working with a smaller roster. One less hand on the wheel. Honing in on a terrain of country and psych with those indelible peaks of rhythm and blues. Getting all punk on malnourished junkie rhythms. Connecting the opposite shores of the Cramps and the Dead Kennedys with a knot of Spaghetti Western. Froggin’ up the King’s. Running on adrenaline. Frothing from the mouth. Bummed as shit, high as all fuck. Reeling.
Dudes’ got a serious case of ripping raw, for sure. The first half of Misery, Redemption & Love toggles the whirlwind psych of the great aggravators of desperate agro garage. Looking punk, fighting high, standing ambivalent. Figuring it out as the buzz resonates through the appropriate cavities. Their French accented English trembling and quivering out of mouths way too short for their mic stands. Not wanting to know how it all ends, but curious as to how it plays out. Short-term solutions to long-term problems. Grinding visceral with the everyday complications of a post-Darwinian First World society. Not accepting the joke as completely humorous. “All I want to do is kill…out to kill is what I want” rings out in the bounds of the chorus to the San Fran-esque “MHD”. Relationships are frustrating, and seeing what you don’t have is even worse. A terse, bleak variety of the unrelenting grip feelings have on the mind of those possessed by the imagination’s brink. Nothing profound, but done right. Creepy in posture, French in pronunciation. Tactile. “Back to the Squat” relays the essential aspects of Azbin’s gaunt sound. Emaciated torsos of men playing winding plucked riffs riddled in the artifacts of muffled translation. Some sort of expression from beneath the qualities which it expresses. An interpretation beyond the scrolls of the garage beasts they’ve conjured. The roots of what is to become riddled with the dirt of a fresh find. A song from a found bed looking beyond the stollen gaze of some landowner’s windowsill.
While the record’s title may scream cheese, it’s not American; neither is it concentrate. Regal's Misery, Redemption & Love is twelve tracks of freedom within frame. Guilt within indignation. Hate within understanding. French gaunt. That guy you’ll inevitably hang out with because his record collection is as cool as his invitation to the squat party. Romance’s lonesome date to the beer bust.