‘Les Pantalons are a daily necessity’.
And before you assume, I didn’t steal that line from some hot-headed critic but from the band’s very own Facebook bio. Confident? That’s a bit of an understatement. But hey, these days it’s all about self-love.
The Belfast alt/punk/folk/grunge/post-modernist rockers stand boldly amid an experimental mind field. Since their origin (approximately one year ago), these guys have already offered up a self-titled EP last September and have several gigs notched along their belt.
The cleverly dubbed ‘The Double and Coke’ EP showcases two brand new tracks which could easily be contenders for a future album listing. Les Pantalons may be under the radar but their sound is a current diversion of the past.
An unedited crackle and muffled commands slices open a wound brimming with a funky, overdriven guitar. The lead vocalist is pure class, a little bit of Ian Brown and a little bit of John Newman (Alt – J) peppered behind the huskiness. Clarity is a strong point on ‘Bad Thoughts’. As the song whizzes from headphone to eardrum, every bass pluck and sliding fingertip fail to go unnoticed. Each instrument glorifies the overall psychedelic rush. Two minutes into the track, an intriguing diversion is taken; cool harmonies and rhythmic clapping. This exotic flare stands aloof from the entire 4 minutes, but funnily enough, it works. A wavering vocal repeating the refrain, ‘Bad thoughts can kill’ thrills and frightens all at once.
‘Wooden Foot’ completes the second half of this release, and is every bit as impressive. A hypnotising minor arrangement carries the song from the get go and refuses to lose momentum. It’s obvious Les Pantalons are directing the listener’s attention towards the overall sound rather than the lyrics. Yet, there are some wonderfully laced one liners – ‘I will bring out the universe that’s hidden in your eyes’. And the bridge is the euphoric climax. Some tremolo soloing takes center stage until the uplifting percussion swoops the limelight. Things get somewhat continental for 30 seconds but Les Pantalons can’t seem to buckle the head banging rupture.
My only criticism – this god damn EP only has 2 songs and I need more!