Recent years have witnessed the evolvement of ‘punk’ music into garage-punk; gypsy-punk, and even pirate-punk, damn you! So I guess it was only a matter of time before we got ‘cajun-punk’ thrown our way. However, as a staunch defender of the true ‘punk’ description, I for one would prefer to steer clear of the ‘p’ word when talking about this latest album from Switzerland’s MAMA ROSIN.
No – ‘Bye Bye Bayou’ delivers something a good deal more complicated than the term ‘punk’ can convey. These thirteen tracks certainly lean heavily towards what would generally be considered as ‘cajun’ or ‘creole,’ styled music, but with Jon Spencer (yeah, he of ‘Blues Explosion’ notoriety) at the helm on production duties, they marry in more with a Blues sentimentality.
It’s a fast, frantic and frenetic thirty-six minutes that are served up, with the distinctive sound of the zydeko featuring heavily. On many of the tracks, the vocals are slightly distorted as if they’re uttered via a megaphone and this contributes to the overall ‘rough’ sound of the recording. What I mean is that the album feels authentic and even ‘imperfect’ in a ‘perfect’ way, if that makes sense.
What I really like about ‘Bye Bye Bayou’ is how the sound is so cluttered; there’s so much going on that you pick up on something new with each listen, and with the exception of the slower ‘Mama Don’t’ (which is the pick of the more atmospheric and bluesy tracks) no songs overstay their welcome, all concluding around the two or three minute mark.
Yeah – if it’s ‘different’ you’re after, hen this one’s well worth checking out.
(Released through Moi J’Connais Records and available now – December 2012)