A horrible hack

Bokanovsky - Lakme


Year Released: 2010
Format: 7"
Label: Shove - Tdd - Codex - Desertion - OSK - Pure Heart - Petit Chantier - In Limine - J'appelle Les Flics - Quatuka - Revolution Summer - Waking The Dead
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on May 4, 2010
This record has been on the cards for a while. In the genre of emo in recent times I think it comes second only to Belle Epoque in the time taken for the songs to be recorded to the record finally be available. There was a problem with printing the covers apparently. The copies I received via Petr Of Pure Heart records were further delayed because the covers were first of all sent to Chechyna rather than the Czech Republic. Anyway, they finally arrived today and it was well worth the wait.

Bökanövsky contribute two songs on this split and kick off with 'De Couloirs En Chambres Froides'. From the start I notice that whilst it certainly is the same Bökanövsky we all know and love, they have successfully managed to vary their sound significantly from all their other output, yet still make it sound great. I would be interested to know at what point they actually wrote and recorded these songs. Parts remind me of Amanda Woodward, in the instrumentation and half shouted half sung vocals. It sounds a bit like a less flat out Hyacinth too, particularly on the second song 'Slow Down'. Great tempo changes and variance throughout both tracks, I think this is some of the band's best work for sure. The first LP suffered a bit from being a bit samey but they have gone on from there to really become one of the best French bands around. There is talk of them coming over to the UK later on in the year which I would dearly like to see.

Lakmé contest the other side with one track. It's weird listening to a "new" song from them when they have been on hiatus for a while now. They are not too much unlike Bökanövsky, except with hoarser vocals and less jangly guitars. There is some nice spoken word in two places on 'Naucil Jsem Se Nevidet Te Celou', which translates to 'I've Learnt Not To See You As A Whole'. They pick things up in between and for me their strong point has often been when they get intense and everyone is just going for it - the vocals in particular sound really tortured and desperate here. Another great song and I would really love to see them reunited at some point and playing gigs again. They have a discography CDr coming out soon on Pure Heart records in case you are interested.

A final note is that this record concerns itself with the subject of mental illness. The lyrics of the songs do not appear to concentrate on this but there is a booklet containing personal thoughts and experiences. A little bit is lost in translation into English but it's still an interesting read and clearly an important part of the whole record. 800 copies or thereabouts coreleased between twelve labels, overall this 7" is a good start for anyone interested in checking out either band and a recommended purchase for anyone into either band already.

4th May 2010

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