I remember, first getting into punk rock, that, for me, the lyrics would carry a band much further than the music itself. It was a big reason for initially getting into the Dead Kennedys and Bad Religion. I wanted to side with the smarties; get lines to crib, arguments to adopt. As time’s gone on, if the music’s not there, my interest isn’t held. I’d rather sit down and read books on politics; think about it hard and long than follow along with it lyrically if the music’s ehh. Point? La Fraction’s a French hardcore band, singing solely in French (but provide us only-English-speaking dolts translations), and I can’t seem to listen to this LP enough. It’s not that lyrics have become irrelevant—far from it—but it’s surprising how much I pay attention to the music when I’m not trying to decipher the lyrics. (It’s sort of like watching a movie on mute. It’s surprising how much your eyes are directed by sound.) And, La Fraction’s music’s great. Think along the line of Funeral Oration or El Banda with different singers. Oh, it’s hardcore, no doubt about it, and it’s finely tuned. Paradoxically, they’re as tight, smooth, and mechanically proficient as fresh ball bearings while remaining as organic, fluid, and powerful as a waterfall. Great stuff.
–todd (Feral Ward)