Les Hurlements d'Leo
In the hands of this French octet, punk-folk gets a brassy, gleeful, frenetic dose of gallic contempt in the best possible way. On albums their sound is softened by mastering, which can at times lend it a quaintness akin to the beret-and-baguette bliss of Les Ogres de Barback, but turn up to a live gig of Léo and your ear drums will need a good sleep to recover. The music gleans bits of influence from some usual suspects—ska, swing, reggae and two-tone—but it’s the hint of Django Reinhardtand the occasionally doleful accordion and violin that strike a unique resonance amongst the barnstorming rhythms and guitar slashing. Not to take anything away from the rest of the band, who are all remarkably tight instrumentalists—trumpeter Pepito providing the band’s commas and exclamation marks with lip-busting flourishes. Their gig at the Corner was the last on this Australian tour and they only seem to make it out here once every three years so you might be hard-pressed to see them anytime soon but there’s a new live album out to whet your appetite.