3 out of 5
Label: Skin Graft, Dur er Doux
Produced by: Stéphane Piot (recorded and mixed by)
When a band / artist shows a stylistic tic across several projects, it’s perhaps best by that point to view the affect as part of that band’s / artist’s style, as opposed to a limitation. That is: I might not like how the members of Pili Coit have worked their skills in their other bands, but it’s working for them, and their fans, so to say that it holds true in PC’s Love Everywhere, released both on Dur et Doux and Skingraft can be a plus or minus, depending on who ye are.
Me: I’m someone who’s found their linked acts – e.g. Poil, Icsis – to get caught up in mood in sacrifice of, to my ears, the impact of the music. It’s an approach that, ironically, makes me ask if they (the members of the band) know exactly what kind of band they want to be; that is, it tends to sound like they approach with an idea, and then make it up as they go along.
Which is not suggestive of the skill involved, or that the end result is musical, and has melody. Especially in Pili Coit, which is more straightforward in lot of regards versus those other acts, adopting various genre mish-mashes per song – some Radiohead; some classic rock; some Skin Grafty no-wave, Made in Mexico-esque herky-jerk, connecting their place on the label; and then the off-kilter pop harmonics of groups like S Prcss or They Shoot Horses, Don’t They – and committing those mish-mashes quite effectively, never without some absolutely grooving beats or jaw-droppingly layered and emotive moments. However, if Poil and etc. pick up a shtick and run, PC seems like it was a bid to free multi-instrumentalists / vocalists Jessica Martin Maresco and Guilhem Meier from any form of confines, hence the above-mentioned mix. But the “make it up as they go along” vibe persists nonetheless: almost every song on here goes on for too long, passing requisitie song structure marks (verse-chorus-verse-bridge-verse) and extending to 6, 7 minutes where the duo repeats almost excatly what came before, except with diminishing returns – like they’re not confident in what they’ve just done and want to do it again.
Thankfully, the group eventually does seem to narrow down on “what they want to be,” or whatever nonsense interpretation I’m putting on them: Taïra No Tomo Momoriga is near perfect in its ebb and flow, justifying its 5+ minute runtime, and the closing Endless Make Love Everywhere, while still suffering from some of the wandering, feels zeroed in on emotion; it’s quite powerful, while also being quite minimal – drums, guitar, voices.