steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Le Man Avec Les Lunettes

"La Belle Epop" CDR

Series Two

Genre: lo-fi, indie pop, twee

Brescia, Italy

November 2009

While I found LMALL's Plaskaplaskabombelibom fun but a tad underwhelming, this disc - a compilation of EP tracks, comp appearances, and demos - has really impressed me. Perhaps a little rougher around the edges compared to Plaska, La Belle Epop (get it??) is a spacious and intriguing pop album blessed with varying textures and sounds.

The first five songs come from the band's 2004 EP, revealing the origins of their synth-laden twee sound. Its songs are nifty, rough-around-the-edges nuggets from the lo-fi underground, among them the dense and variegated "A Tea at the Station" and Beatles-influenced romp "Aging Again." Expect DIY recording conditions, imperfect compositions, and bucket-loads of spirit. "A Pretty Shore", one of the best, is a spectral allusion to Young Marble Giants and Broadcast.

Deeper into the album, we arrive at comp track "Could I Call You Honey?" (busy and unpolished but anointed with moments of bliss) and several unreleased morsels, including winsomely Arcade Fire-inspired "The Blogger and the Dandy" and radiant "In all the X-mas Trees." Tacked on at the end is the best track off Plaskaplaskabombelibom, "Apples," in both bare-boned demo form and juicy full version. This collection of songs is sometimes haphazard and exclusively unpolished, but LMALL's obvious talent renders the exercise undeniably enjoyable.

LMALL's myspace

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released Aug 26, 2008]