Black Eskimo

Les Georges Leningrad

Les Georges Leningrad’s sophomore album is without a doubt catchier than their debut release, boasting a number of potential hits. Black Eskimo mixes elements of post-punk and noisy improv to deliver a completely unique hybrid. Now operating as a trio, they are leaner and more dangerous than ever. On this album, Poney, Bobo and Mingo present Black Eskimo with disconcerting homage of rare and sadistic music resonating from the purebred lineage of petrochemical rock.


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Sarah Zachrich, Splendid E-Zine, November 3, 2004

Man, isn’t a jewel case good enough any more? Why does everyone have to package their albums in layers of plastic and paper and cardboard (which kill our poor friends the trees and turn putting the disc away into a map-folding-style pain in the ass)? These were my thoughts as I was unwrapping, unwrapping, unwrapping Sur les traces de Black Eskimo. When I finally succeeded in freeing my disc from its scraptacular little prison, however, I wasn’t sorry I’d made the effort. Les Georges Leningrad are from Montréal, which has apparently taken Brooklyn’s position as the Place To Be this year (I can just see all the kids going, “Universal health care and a music scene? Sign me up!”). Their sound is very much not cinematic or mature or solemn or any of those other things you might have been led to expect from their home town. They’ve lost one frontwoman since their debut, but the remaining one, Poney P., is more than capable of using up all that space in front of the amps; she screams, moans and vamps in an eclectic, bilingual display of abandon that would make Lydia Lunch proud. You’ll either love her or want to kill her. Drummer Bobo Boutin and everything else-ist Mingo L’Indien furnish backing vocals, as well as costumes (!) and some catchy-ass rudimentary dance-pop music. But Les Georges Leningrad want you to know that they don’t wanna be a pop band. The stank-nasty basslines and frenetic beats of floor-burners such as Supa Doopa and Sponsorships alternate with self-consciously alienating noise pieces like St-Mary’s Memorial Hall, which features far-away, discordant electric piano and what sounds like someone banging the hell out of some sheet metal. In the end, though, they’re just too damn much fun not to like, and there’s always the “skip” button for less sonically adventurous listeners.

With the group’s debut, the question was, “Do Les Georges Leningrad really not know how to play, or are they doing that on purpose?” Around the same time as Deux Hot Dogs Moutarde Chou first came out, we began being “treated” to a million “I just got a 505 and I can make music all by myself!” electroclash acts. The difference between the ones who stick in your head and the ones who don’t isn’t skill — it’s charm and instinct. Les Georges Leningrad have both of those in spades, so does it really matter whether they’re classically trained musicians? All I know is that I haven’t yet returned my copy of Sur les traces… to its elaborately folded home — though I’m not sure if that’s because I like listening to it or I’m just too damn lazy.