Tuesday, April 18, 2006
These Guys Are French?
Electronic band goes rock and sells iPods
You may not have heard of Rinocerose, but if you've seen the latest iPod commercial, you've heard them. That's their song, "Cubicle" being played as a virtual city is being built by CD album covers. It's an edgy little number that you would expect from a band like the White Stripes or Jet, but Rinocerose is actually an electronic "dance music" band. And they're from France.
2:42 pm ET ·
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Like their English counterparts the Chemical Brothers, Rinocerose is a duo performing catchy, synthesized dance music with crunchy, hook-laden guitar riffs. Self-proclaimed a "house-with-guitars" unit, the band has released their newest collection of hard-hitting funk, Schizophonia. It's quite a departure from the band's usual output, focusing more on guitar-driven vocal efforts than the more danceable, disco-like efforts of their earlier works. Nearly all the tracks are vocals, albeit from guest vocalists.
Aside from "Cubicle," highlights from Schizophonia are "Get Ready Now," "Fiction Dancer" that sounds a bit like the Pet Shop Boys, and "Bitch" with a vocal so close to Bon Scott, you'd swear it was a lost AC/DC tune. Other times the band rocks with the funk we used to expect from the Michael Hutchence-led INXS.
On the whole, I am not a big fan of dance music or even electronic. But Schizophonia does what so much electronic dance music doesn't - it keeps the listener interested. While I occasionally enjoy bands like the Chemical Brothers, the songs I like most are when they use guest vocalists (such as Noel Gallagher of Oasis or Beth Orton) - it's a shame they don't do more. Rinocerose does recognize this, which is what makes Schizophonia such a good album - it's club music for those of us who don't like club music.
Anybody looking for dance music to scratch that itch left by INXS, the Fixx and other pop/rock of the '80's should check out Schizophonia. Who knew the French knew anything about Rock 'n' Roll?