It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got. (So Shut It!) – Oui Legionnaires (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Oui Legionnaires - It's Not What You Need... CoverTo paraphrase Churchill’s famous description of Russian machinations and complexities, I have often thought of Oui Legionnaires as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma…enclosed in bacon: difficult to understand but the most appealing and rewarding of puzzles. Everyone likes bacon. They have the amazing ability to take the same musical building blocks as everyone else but somehow warp them into a genre that seems to be only inhabited by themselves. In the past they have called it “yelp-core,” I once called it “puzzle-pop,” but you could go on inventing clever labels until the cows come home; it is what it is, though what it is often defies easy description.

Here are a few words that might help. Angular, unique, melodic, odd, skewed, intricate, punchy, leftfield…brilliant. Forget all those awful bands who line up behind the title pop-punk, a genre that seems to promise so much but deliver so little, it is in bands like Oui Legionnaires that the beauty and infectiousness of pop meets head on with the garage band attitude of punk. A soundclash that is the equivalent to gargling a cocktail of honey and steel bolts or of using a shotgun to try to create topiary, a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous with unexpectedly great results.

 

And if more proof of their brilliant and alternative outlook is needed, just look at the titles. Realising that the name of the e.p. is actually a line from opening salvo “Dear Charlie, Please Write a Hilarious Title For This Song, Lots of Love Chris” is all the evidence you need that their brains are probably not quite wired up like yours and mine. The world needs weirdoes (that is a complement, right?) and Oui Legionnaires are best argument to support that statement that I have ever come across.

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