Malajube: La Caverne

Dare to Drive

Dare To Care 

The first time I ever heard of these guys was when I stumbled into El Mocambo in Toronto one night and there were some hot, sweaty French guys rocking out on stage. They could do it too; hooky power rock with lotsa grunge garage riffs and loud, loud, loud. So after a while I could hear properly and ok, now I was primed for their English song. Which was gonna be the next one, right? No? Not the one after that either? So I just gave up waiting and danced till somebody Jaegered my Voivod t-shirt.

Since then I’ve seen them every chance I get and they still don’t sing a lick of English and it never really mattered. Because you don’t need to rock out in both official languages. Malajube proves either one will do. 

Which I’m thinking makes them a sweet choice for Canada’s Band now that The Tragically Hip is past it. Maybe les garcons were thinking the same thing in the studio with La Caverne, as it’s their most ambitious work yet. A little more pop than usual, kinda experimental, kinda Euro movie soundtracky and always with the good hook or two close to hand. 

They used to sound kind of like fellow Montrealers Parlovr but this album sounds more like The Dears but without the girl. Oh yeah, except for “Sangsues” which is all anthemic and Arcade Fiery. 

When they’re in the Malajube pocket it doesn’t get any snugger and opening with the familiar anthemic rock of  “Synesthésie,” and “Cro-Magnon.” is an excellent idea. Makes your more responsive to the spooky wooky ambience of the title rack and “Mon Oeil”; this stuff is so well mixed even a funky bass line goes all menacing and Justin Mineau’s suggestive vocals add to the sense of sonic displacement.

I like my Malajube hard so the unleashing of “Le blizzard,” “Radiologie,” and “Ibuprofène,” was the payoff for me but there’s lots more of the ambient movie soundtrack stuff, if you prefer that kind of thing.

Malajube play the Horseshoe (370 Queen W.) on Apr. 30.

Belle Carpasian