It’s always good to hear a band that doesn’t obviously fit into any one genre but dark metallic, French hardcore (possibly in that order) sums up Gary Suicidal Kids Commando as well as anything. Not that it’s obviously French really, the screamed vocals are buried under layers and layers of guitar and drums obscuring any hint of the words; only the titles ‘Les Morts’ and ‘L’enfant Massacre’ among others, which even my non-existent French can understand, suggest the bleak nature of the lyrics.
But they’re a bit of everything really, with hints of sludge, post-rock, crust as well as nods towards Cult of Luna, Neurosis and early Envy, there’s also hints of jazz with off-beat drumming and a sax, which I’ll come to. As you can imagine it’s not the kind of thing that you’d put on to keep your chin up in a tough spot but they do what they do very well, even if they do fall into the cliché of having a mournful cello play an interlude and an introduction of swirling strings (a choir also make a brief appearance). But that was balanced out by the not one, but two saxophone solos towards the end of the album, which almost stopped me mid stride with shock. Whether you enjoy a sax solo reminiscent of late Coltrane in an album of dark metallic hardcore is a matter of personal taste but I for one was happy to hear a band doing something completely new and unique (and then doing it again in the next song?).
But there is very much the feeling running through this album of doing what they want and not caring about the reaction. The name is in English but still manages to be a pain in the arse and nonsensical, but the album title is French, the liner notes veer from French to English; it’s too dark, with too much vocals for the post-rock crowd and it’s neither metal or hardcore or crust.
They get away with all this by being good. Very good actually. It’s a shame that they’re going to piss so many people off with one thing or another. However, I will say if you can get past the weirdness there’s a great album waiting for you.