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Katzenjammer Kabarett — Grand Guignol & Variétés
(Projekt 220, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Grand Guignol & Variétés Cover artTheir name is German, they sing in English, but they are indeed French. I must have missed this band's 2006 debut, but I guess it's never too late to discover a good thing, and this four-piece definitely delivers something different and unusual. Their sound is an affected mix of gothic rock, dark macabre theatricality, cabaret, art punk, and fragmentary bits of chamber and electronic styles, all woven into an accessible whole with surreal lyricism, and fronted by a powerful female vocalist. The music they make, in song-length pieces, covers a lot of ground yet maintains some kind of conceptual thread throughout, and after the twelve cuts have finished it all makes sense. After several plays it makes even more sense. It's downright addictive. And did I mention this singer is great? This sounds like a band that would be great to see on stage; all these dynamic changes, theatrical musings, and the imaginative mix of styles happening at once in a live setting must be one wild ride – so our French readers may want to make a note of that. Inspired lunacy meets artistic frenzy at its finest. Instrumentation includes guitars, synth-bass, piano, cello, electronics, and drums (both real and programmed). For the adventurous listener, this is definitely worthy of investigation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Katzenjammer Kabarett

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