Life Is Dead


Try to understand how Cannibale, from some living room in the Northern France town of L'Aigle, managed to perfect a sound somewhere between the Caribbeans, 1960s West Coast garage scene and Tropicalia's Brazil. They got into "doing nothing" lately. And while doing so, they've put together their third album, Life Is Dead. Simmered, gnawed to the bone; everything in that record feels more precise and simmered at length. Their distinct working method, both open to experimentation and mathematically redundant, ties all of their albums together. Everyday, in the alcohol-heavy botanical mist of his den in L'Aigle, Manuel tinkers about, pieces together instruments and "vomits music", to please the band's buddies. It's all the more convincing coming from an habitué of mosh pit close-combat rather than passionate oscillation. An infusion of instinct and seduction feeds back into the group's vaporous music and Nicolas' dreamy lyrics. Life Is Dead is shaping up to be yet another motor for imagination, for out-of-control body moves and spasms of the brains. Take, for example, the drumming bass and razor-sharp guitar strokes on "The Hammer Hits" or the racing "Kings of the Attics", which recounts the tribulations of a teens' band on rehearsal. Only one track is a bit of an outsider, the album's last composition for which Manuel feels he "managed, for the first time, to achieve [his] idea of non-blend between new-wave and Caribbean music". This record also stands out due to an ever more intense connection to the body. In the sense of matter and food on "Savouring Your Flesh", which could be the soundtrack for a pagan feast in a cartoon. Or else as object of desire in the palatable lament "Taste Me". Nicolas defies death -- absurdly, always: daredevil tendencies, psychedelic purgatory and a good laugh with a white light beaming straight in his face. Opening title? Two guys trying to kill each other, without ever managing to get the job done. "I Don't Want To Rot"? The tale of a body crushed on the pavement, like if it was told by madmen racing full blast around a kart track. "The Mouth Of Darkness"? A hard-rock band title, an idea for a track to go along the title, a screwup resulting in a song recounting how the screwed-up song should have been. Welcomed as rookies in Born Bad's laps for its tenth anniversary, Cannibale now sits -- comfortably so -- at the big table of the label's leading bands. In the future, for sure, this Life Is Dead will have its own chapter in their dedicated anthropo-ethno-socio-musicological study - a somewhat post-mortem moment, in the full flow of creation. Frustration's singer Fabrice Gilbert can be heard on "Kings Of The Attics".