Moulettes – Moulettes

Release Date 16/08/2010 (Balling The Jack)

Review by Chris Gilliver

Moulettes“Classical,” my brother states as the first few wonky lines of cello play out. “No,” I reply. But what exactly is this? To bundle “The Mini Mussels” in with the neo-folk scene would be as misplaced and inappropriate as saying Hannibal Lector likes to “eat out”. Not so discreetly buried beneath the crazed strings, banjo and percussion of track 2 ‘Cannibal Song’, is some sort of recipe for cooking and eating your wayward lover, and I realise that a Hannibal Lector analogy is too close for comfort.

Somehow it also reminds me of Spinal Tap’s idea for a musical about Jack The Ripper, ‘Saucy Jack’. There’s something in the enunciation and the odd time signatures that speaks of dirty Victorian back streets, black comedy, and an ever present danger hanging in the air. Listen to ‘Devil of Mine’ as it builds to ever more threatening heights.

The ghostly outro to ‘Horses For Hearses’ is the album’s high point, and the waltz of the next track, ‘What A Way To Spend A Day’, is the moment when Moulettes is at its most accessible, the chorus breaking to a mournful sing-a-long, and the close – a pretty serene instrumental. ‘Talisman’ is almost sweet in places, until about 2:55, when Hannah Moulette unleashes some sort of death rattle and the song drives on.

Sadly, these moments where something humane emerges from Hannah’s devilish interplay with the bassoonist and the drummer (the album’s backbone), are few and far between. Not that the album is ever dreary or dull, it’s just that it’s relentlessly, drivingly murderous, and after a while it feels like it’s threatening my sanity. So this is the album’s greatest strength and weakness. It’s a uniquely bloody listen, but can you take it?

 


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