Review: Jack Foley
RINOCEROSE are French duo Jean Philippe Freu and Patrice Carrie
and they specialise in dance music with a twist.
Schizophrenia, which has probably been named in part
homage to their day-to-day jobs as psychiatrists, fuses their
dance roots with their passion for guitar music.
It features guest singers including Mark Gardener (ex of Ride),
Bnaan (of emerging indie rockers, The Infadels), Dominique Keegan
(The Glass) and Nuutti Kataja (of Dead Combo).
And it contains lyrics that are designed to express their paradoxical,
decadent and marginal emotions, drawing on hallucinations, sexual
perversions, masochistic tendencies and alcoholism and drug addiction.
Sound interesting? You bet although the album isn't entirely
successful in creating a wholly satisfying experience.
What's good is that it doesn't remotely sound French or European.
The beats flirt with the mainstream and are more leftfield indie
than Ibiza heavy.
Tracks like Skin sound like an edgy mix of New Order
(circa Regret) with Dirty Vegas, while Florian Brinker's
gutsy vocals on Fiction Dancer are reminiscent of Shaun
Ryder's during the verses, before somersaulting into a chorus
that Duran Duran would be proud of.
There's a hard-rocking energy to the sassy Bitch, to
which Jessie Chaton's powerful vocals fit perfectly (even if the
beats feel laboured).
While the mix of glam rock and dark electronica combine for the
retro-sounding Get Ready Now, which manages to sound
like a mish-mash of early INXS, Soft Cell and Marilyn Manson.
Elsewhere, the album ventures into hedonistic excess for the
profanity-laden Fucky Funky Music, a track to keep well
away from your mother, or the deeply disturbed My Demons.
Some of the album grows on you, other parts feel laboured and
repetitive. But it's worth checking out if you're in search of
something a little bit different.
The long-term diagnosis, however, isn't likely to inspire confidence
in the overall shelf-life of the product. It's of limited appeal.