Exposé Online banner

Fromage — Ondine
(Belle Antique 9458, 1984/1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1996-03-01:

Ondine Cover art

Cheese jokes aside, this band was active throughout the eighties, and released two regular albums. Their approach was symphonic, featuring guitar, bass, keys, drums and flute, and female vocals, and on their first album, Ondine, they deliver a relatively poppy (and sometimes obnoxiously so) progressive sound, typically Japanese, comparable to bands like Novela in their commercial phase, or perhaps Tai-Phong. Yet on one track at least – the instrumental "Ultimate" – they clearly show that they can deliver the progressive goods without the pop baggage. There are some very nice moments on many of the other tracks as well, especially the lengthy "Tsuki-Ni-Hoeru," but a flash of brilliance here and there a great album doesn't make.


by Dan Casey, 1994-10-01:

Fromage. That's French for 'cheese.' This Fromage, however, are not French at all, but rather they are a Japanese five piece (g/k/d/b/v+flute) from the '80's. The keyword here is 80s. A very dated sound, typical of a lot of 80s prog. The all-too-nasal and thin vocals (in Japanese) are used in a very standard manner as the band marches seemingly happily through these traditionally-structured pop/prog anthems. The best moments are the extended instrumental passages, where occasionally the writing diverges into a more mellow, jazzy mold. Some nice acoustic/lead guitar work will surprise you amongst all the tired dribble, as on the lead cut "Extermination" and the lengthy symphonic "Ondine," which is by a longshot the album's strongest cut. The style here is formulaic 70s, but it's a welcome refresher compared to the rest of the cuts. At the other end of the scale, there is the following cut, "Color Vision Night," which is obviously inspired by Abacab-era Genesis and uses the pseudo-English chorus "Bye bye bye my love, see you again, and hello my love." Ouch. Belle Antique has certainly done better than this. Fromage. Cheese. Yep.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 5 , 1993 releases, 1984 releases

Related artist(s): Fromage

More info

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Filth - Seventeen Bubblegum Smashes! – Um. This is not Pink Floyd, it is Pink Filth. The name is not only a clever pun to fool high school stoners into buying the album (if they could find it in any store on this planet) but it also is a...  (1999) » Read more

A Triggering Myth - Forgiving Eden – For their latest effort, keyboardists Tim Drumheller and Rick Eddy present a single suite divided into eight parts, sometimes with no break between them. Part one starts quietly with a slightly jazzy,...  (2003) » Read more

Legendary Pink Dots - Plutonium Blonde – Coinciding with the Dots’ October/November 2008 US tour was the release of Plutonium Blonde, which might well be their best in many years. Plutonium Blonde combines many of the shifting styles...  (2009) » Read more

Gentle Giant - Under Construction – Gentle Giant was at its best when adding polyphonic arrangements to aggressive rock music. Determining who was responsible was merely a scan of the writing credits, where "Shulman, Shulman and...  (1998) » Read more

Dino Saluzzi Group - Juan Condori – Bandoneon playing within a jazz structure is not a new idea, as it dates back to the 50s with many French and international acts, exemplified by Django Reinhardt’s hot bands. Argentinian native...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues