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The Shy Volcanic Society At The Bear And Bird Parade: "s/t"

img  Tobias

Beta lactam-Ring Records are presenting two of their most important formations on one CD. We will find out later whether there is any other reason behind this than ‘Buy one, get one for free’. The two independent groups are ‘Volcano The Bear’ and ‘The Shy Society At The Bird Parade’, the latter literally translated from the band's original French moniker: La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux. While the title mixes the bands' names, thus forming a new entity, this is not strictly speaking correct. They never produced any music together. But let’s listen closely whether the music on this album warrants the lingual intermingling nonetheless.

Volcano The Bear are starting out with their by now well-known style. Closely-knit rhythmical sounds are metaphors for a close connection to nature and its origins go way back to ancient roots. A seemingly simple percussion is drumming away in an endless rhythm of religious rituals, with the flutes leading melancholic sounds of helplessness and hope at the same time. One can almost see people dancing around a small fire, stomping their bare feet in the dusty ground, moving around to the drums of life while the musicians are swinging their bodies in sync with the rhythm. And then, the whole theme deteriorates into oblivion… just fades away in double speed.

Next thing we know, there are fragments of chant, words, sounds, mixed with some irate percussion and bubbling vibes, rather without structure, entirely spontaneous, nonetheless well-outlined and consequent in their ineptitude. As soon as we got used to that new and unruly statement, we are thrown back into the world of wild tribal displays, heavy drumming and screams that are full of rage and despair, returning to the basics of expression… shocking and revealing at the same time, an almost orgiastic performance of the nature of mankind, a musical turmoil of emotions. Sounds, never even dared to utter are now on the top of your lungs. All of this is then translated into music and I dare not to say what instruments have been used. Not that it matters anyway.

This intense and extremely excessive performance simply keeps going, sometimes underlined by powerful, high-speed beats, but always falling back into a mode of pure, undiluted expression of unmasked and deeply felt emotions, supported by a hard rock performance with a steady groove, only to fade into a spherical drift-away of instruments and voices…. just to pick up the wildness again.

I listened to this album without making any effort of distinguishing which band played what tracks, and the only thing that came to my attention was the fact, that my CD player on every track identified Pascal Godjikian as the composer. But however that may be, you can enjoy this great album without even noticing that in fact we are talking about two different groups of independent musicians. We are sure hearing an integral entity of artistic expression, however, and while the first part (track 1-5 are performed by Volcano the Bear) may express emotions more fundamentally, The Shy Society At The Bird Parade (tracks 6-9) resort to far more powerful and aggressive means.

Adding things up, this album shows a progressive climax of the same theme, driving it more and more to the highest possible altitude and in the process indeed creating one sole and unique work, which sounds as though it had been forged from a single piece of musical iron. And while compositions flow effortlessly in- and out of each other, they definitely are not betraying the concept in general. The result speaks for itself. And it definitely warrants a new name that stands tall in its own right. 

By Fred M. Wheeler

Homepage:  Volcano The Bear
Homepage:  La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux

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